Jeremiah 32:3
For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
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Jeremiah 32:3-5. Jeremiah was shut up in the court of the prison — He was afterward put in the dungeon, Jeremiah 37:16; and Jeremiah 38:6. But now he was not under so severe a restraint. Compare Jeremiah 32:26; Jeremiah 32:28 of that chapter. For Zedekiah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy and say, &c. — This refers to the prophecy recorded Jeremiah 34:2, &c., the particulars there mentioned being, in order of time, before the passages related in this chapter. We nowhere read that Zedekiah himself immediately commanded Jeremiah to be imprisoned: he seems rather to have been favourable to him, and to have been averse to his confinement; but God accounts princes to do that which their ministers or subordinate magistrates do with their connivance, or without their prohibition. Behold, I will give this city, &c., and Zedekiah shall not escape — Jeremiah prophesies that both the city and the court should fall into the hands of the king of Babylon: for God, whose city it was, in a peculiar manner would put it out of his protection, and give it into their hands; that, though Zedekiah should attempt to make his escape, he should be overtaken, and brought as a prisoner into Nebuchadnezzar’s presence, to his great confusion and terror, he having made himself particularly obnoxious to him by breaking his faith with him; that he should hear the king of Babylon pronounce his doom, and see with what fury and indignation he should look upon him, his eyes, as it is expressed, beholding Nebuchadnezzar’s eyes. He further prophesies that Zedekiah should be carried to Babylon, and continue a miserable captive there until God should visit him — That is, till God should put an end to his life by a natural death, as Nebuchadnezzar had long before put an end to every comfort of his life by putting out his eyes. And, lastly, he foretels that all their attempts to force the besiegers from their trenches would be ineffectual; for though they should fight with the Chaldeans, they should not prosper. For prophesying thus, that is, for bearing testimony to the truth, and giving them faithful warning of impending judgments, he is imprisoned.

32:1-15 Jeremiah, being in prison for his prophecy, purchased a piece of ground. This was to signify, that though Jerusalem was besieged, and the whole country likely to be laid waste, yet the time would come, when houses, and fields, and vineyards, should be again possessed. It concerns ministers to make it appear that they believe what they preach to others. And it is good to manage even our worldly affairs in faith; to do common business with reference to the providence and promise of God.For the prophecies on which the charge was grounded see Jeremiah 21:4-7, Jeremiah 21:9. 2. in … court of … prison—that is, in the open space occupied by the guard, from which he was not allowed to depart, but where any of his friends might visit him (Jer 32:12; Jer 38:13, 28). Marvellous obstinacy, that at the time when they were experiencing the truth of Jeremiah's words in the pressure of the siege, they should still keep the prophet in confinement [Calvin]. The circumstances narrated (Jer 32:3-5) occurred at the beginning of the siege, when Jeremiah foretold the capture of the city (Jer 32:1; Jer 34:1-7; 39:1). He was at that time put into free custody in the court of the prison. At the raising of the siege by Pharaoh-hophra, Jeremiah was on the point of repairing to Benjamin, when he was cast into "the dungeon," but obtained leave to be removed again to the court of the prison (Jer 37:12-21). When there he urged the Jews, on the second advance of the Chaldeans to the siege, to save themselves by submission to Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 38:2, 3); in consequence of this the king, at the instigation of the princes, had him cast into a miry dungeon (Jer 38:4-6); again he was removed to the prison court at the intercession of a courtier (Jer 32:7-13), where he remained till the capture of the city (Jer 32:28), when he was liberated (Jer 39:11, &c.; Jer 40:1, &c.). We no where read that Zedekiah immediately commanded Jeremiah to be imprisoned, he seemeth rather to have been favourable to Jeremiah, and judicious interpreters think his present prison was a favourable prison; but God accounteth princes to do that which their ministers or subordinate magistrates do with their connivance, and without their hinderance. Though it be wild divinity for any to say, that inferior ministers or subjects are excused by the command of the superior, and the guilt lieth only on them; yet it is as wild to say they contract no guilt by the extravagant acts of subordinate magistrates, whom they put in place, and can punish and remove from their places.

For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up,.... In prison, at least in the court of the prison; he had given orders for his imprisonment, which were executed, and it was the same as if he had done it himself; the reason of which was, as follows:

saying, wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, thus saith the Lord,

behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it? meaning the city of Jerusalem, now besieged by the king of Babylon. This prophecy stands in Jeremiah 34:1; the prophecies of this book not being put together in proper order of time.

For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
3. For] Gi. and Co. supported by LXX render Where, to which Du. also inclines. Not so Dr.

3–5. These vv. form a parenthetical explanation, so that Jeremiah 32:6 is to be connected immediately in sense with Jeremiah 32:2.

Verse 3. - Had shut him up. A brief and general account of the circumstances related more in full in ch. 37. For the prophecies referred to, see Jeremiah 34:3-5; Jeremiah 37:17; Jeremiah 38:17-23 (the following verse is almost identical with Jeremiah 34:3). Jeremiah 32:3The time and the circumstances of the following message from God. - The message came to Jeremiah in the tenth year of Zedekiah, i.e., in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar (cf. Jeremiah 25:1 and Jeremiah 52:12), when the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah was kept in confinement in the fore-court of the royal palace. These historical data are inserted (Jeremiah 32:2-5) in the form of circumstantial clauses: 'ואז חיל וגו, "for at that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem." The siege had begun in the ninth year of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 39:1; Jeremiah 52:4), and was afterwards raised for a short time, in consequence of the approach of an auxiliary corps of Egyptians; but, as soon as these had been defeated, it was resumed (Jeremiah 37:5, Jeremiah 37:11). Jeremiah was then kept confined in the court of the prison of the royal palace (cf. Nehemiah 3:25), "where Zedekiah, king of Judah, had imprisoned him, saying: Why dost thou prophesy, 'Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, so that he shall take it; Jeremiah 32:4. And Zedekiah, the king of Judah, shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall assuredly be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and his mouth shall speak with his mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; Jeremiah 32:5. And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the Lord. Though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not succeed?'" - We have already found an utterance of like import in Jeremiah 21:1-14, but that is not here referred to; for it was fulfilled at the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem, and did not bring on Jeremiah the consequences mentioned here. From Jeremiah 37 we learn that Jeremiah, during the siege of Jerusalem, on till the time when it was raised through the approach of the Egyptian army, had not been imprisoned, but went freely in and out among the people (Jeremiah 37:4.). Not till during the temporary raising of the siege, when he wanted to go out of the city into the land of Benjamin, was he seized and thrown into a dungeon, on the pretence that he intended to go over to the Chaldeans. There he remained many days, till King Zedekiah ordered him to be brought, and questioned him privately as to the issue of the conflict; when Jeremiah replied, "Thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon." On this occasion Jeremiah complained to the king of his imprisonment, and requested that he might not be sent back into the dungeon, where he must soon perish; the king then ordered him (Jeremiah 37:11-21) to be taken into the court of the prison-house (חצר , Jeremiah 37:21), where he remained in confinement till the city was taken (Jeremiah 38:13, Jeremiah 38:28; Jeremiah 39:14). The statement in our verses as to the cause of this imprisonment does not contradict, but agrees with the notice in Jeremiah 37, as soon as we perceive that this account contains merely a brief passing notice of the matter. The same holds true of the utterance of the prophet in Jeremiah 32:3-5. Jeremiah, even at the beginning of the siege (Jeremiah 21:3.), had sent a message of similar import to the king, and repeated the same afterwards: Jeremiah 34:3-5; Jeremiah 37:17; Jeremiah 38:17-23. The words of our verses are taken from these repeated utterances; Jeremiah 32:4 agrees almost verbatim with Jeremiah 34:3; and the words, "there shall he remain עד־פּקדי אתו, till I regard him with favour," are based upon the clearer utterance as to the end of Zedekiah, Jeremiah 34:4-5. - The circumstances under which Jeremiah received the following commission from the Lord are thus exactly stated, in order to show how little prospect the present of the kingdom of Judah offered for the future, which was portrayed by the purchase of the field. Not only must the kingdom of Judah inevitably succumb to the power of the Chaldeans, and its population go into exile, but even Jeremiah is imprisoned, in so hopeless a condition, that he is no longer sure of his life for a single day.
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