Jeremiah 34:1
The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying,
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(1) When Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon . . .—The prophecy that follows is probably a fuller statement of that in Jeremiah 32:3-4, and delivered shortly before it, being referred to there as the cause of his imprisonment. In the form of the name Nebuchadnezzar (n instead of r, as in Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 25:1), we may probably trace the hand of a later transcriber. The same hand is, perhaps, traceable in the accumulation of substantives after the manner of Daniel 3:7; Daniel 5:19.

Jeremiah 34:1. The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar, &c., fought against Jerusalem — The siege was begun in the ninth year of Zedekiah, the tenth month and tenth day of the month, which answers to the latter end of our December. See Jeremiah 52:4. Blaney thinks the prophet received this revelation a month or two after the siege was begun, or toward the latter end of Zedekiah’s ninth year; namely, during the interval between the raising the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and his return to that city, after having repulsed the king of Egypt, who was coming to the succour of Zedekiah, Jeremiah 37:5. Jeremiah, it appears, was not at this time in prison: see Jeremiah 34:4; Jeremiah 34:14-15, of that chapter. And against all the cities thereof — The lesser cities of Judea, which were subject to Jerusalem, as their metropolis, called elsewhere the daughters of Judah by way of distinction from the mother city.

34:1-7 Zedekiah is told that the city shall be taken, and that he shall die a captive, but he shall die a natural death. It is better to live and die penitent in a prison, than to live and die impenitent in a palace.People - Peoples, i. e., tribes, races, under the rule of one man. CHAPTER 34

Jer 34:1-22. Captivity of Zedekiah and the People Foretold for Their Disobedience and Perfidy.

The prophecy (Jer 34:1-7) as to Zedekiah is an amplification of that in Jer 32:1-5, in consequence of which Jeremiah was then shut up in the court of the prison. The prophecy (Jer 34:8-22) refers to the Jews, who, afraid of the capture of the city, had, in obedience to the law, granted freedom to their servants at the end of seven years, but on the intermission of the siege forced them back into bondage.

1. Jerusalem and … all the cities thereof—(see on [944]Jer 19:15). It was amazing blindness in the king, that, in such a desperate position, he should reject admonition.The captivity of Zedekiah and the city, Jeremiah 34:1-7. The princes and people by solemn covenant, according to the law, dismiss their bond-servants, but the Babylonians leaving the siege, they reassume them, Jeremiah 34:8-11. For this God threateneth a return of the enemy, and destruction of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 34:11-22.

The revelation of the will of God to Jeremiah, to be published to the people during the time of the siege. The seven first verses are plainly a distinct prophecy from that in the latter part of the chapter. It was (as some think) for this sermon that the prophet was imprisoned (for in this prophecy the sermons are much disordered in the placing of them); so as this, showing the cause for which the king imprisoned him, is set after others, Jeremiah 32, which were during the time of his imprisonment.

The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord,.... This prophecy came to Jeremiah, and was delivered by him, when he was at liberty, and before his imprisonment, and was the occasion of it, as appears from Jeremiah 32:2; compared with Jeremiah 34:2; the prophecies not standing in the proper order in which they were given out; for the prophecy, in this first part of the chapter at least, was delivered out before that in the thirty second chapter:

when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem; when this mighty monarch appeared before Jerusalem with a numerous army, consisting of Chaldeans, the natives of his own kingdom, and with the auxiliary troops of each the kingdoms he had subdued and made tributary to him, even people of almost every nation under the heavens; and invested it, and laid siege to it, and lay against it:

and against all the cities thereof; the rest of the cities of Judah, which were as daughters of Jerusalem, the metropolis or mother city:

saying; as follows:

The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when {a} Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all its cities, saying,

(a) Who commonly by Jeremiah was called Nebuchadrezzar and by others Nebuchadnezzar.

1. The narrative portion of the work which we may ascribe to Baruch here recommences after a partial suspension. As Jeremiah was still at liberty (Jeremiah 34:6), his utterance must have preceded the temporary raising of the siege owing to the threatened approach of the Egyptian army (See on Jeremiah 32:1).

This subsection may be summarized as follows. (i) Jeremiah 34:1-3. Jeremiah is bidden to tell Zedekiah that the result of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion now taking place will be that the city shall be burned, and the king taken captive to Babylon. (ii) Jeremiah 34:4-7. Zedekiah shall however die in peace with the customary funeral rites and mourning. At the time when Jeremiah spoke thus, two cities only besides the capital remained untaken.

Nebuchadnezzar … and all the peoples] The LXX reading is briefer, omitting “the kingdoms of … and all the peoples,” and probably gives the original form of the v.

1–7. Prophecy of the burning of the city and the captivity of Zedekiah.

Verse 1. - All the kingdoms of the earth; etc.; rather, of the land. The accumulation of phrases is to convey the composite character of the Chaldean army. And against all the cities thereof; i.e. the fortified cities which still held out - against Lachish and Azekah, if no more (per. 7). Jeremiah 34:1The message to Zedekiah is regarded by Hitzig, Ewald, Graf, Ngelsbach, etc. as a supplement to Jeremiah 32:1., and as giving, in its complete form, the prophecy to which Jeremiah 32:3. was referred, as the reason of the confinement of Jeremiah in the court of the prison. Certainly it is so far true that Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 34:2-5, expresses himself more fully regarding the fate of King Zedekiah at the fall of Jerusalem into the hands of the Chaldeans than in Jeremiah 32:3-5; Jeremiah 21:3., and Jeremiah 37:17; but we are not warranted in drawing the inference that this message forms a historical appendix or supplement to Jeremiah 32:3., and was the occasion or reason of Jeremiah's imprisonment. See, on the contrary, the remarks on Jeremiah 32:3. It is not given here as an appendix to explain the reason of the prophet's imprisonment, but as a prophecy from which we may see how King Zedekiah was forewarned, from the very beginning of the siege, of what its issue would be, that he might frame his conduct accordingly. Nor does it belong to the period when Nebuchadnezzar, after beating off the Egyptians who had come to the relief of the beleaguered city, had returned to the siege of Jerusalem, but to the earliest period of the siege, when Zedekiah might still cherish the hope of defeating and driving off the Chaldeans through the help of the Egyptians. - According to Jeremiah 34:1, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah when "Nebuchadnezzar and," i.e., with, "all his host, and all the kingdoms of the land of the dominion of his hand, and all the nations, were fighting against Jerusalem and all her towns." The words are multiplied to represent the strength of the Chaldean army, so as to deepen the impression of overpowering might, against which resistance is vain. The army consists of men drawn from all the kingdoms of the territory he rules, and of all nations. ארץ ממשׁלת means the same as ארץ ממשׁלתּו, Jeremiah 51:28, the territory over which his dominion, which includes many kingdoms, extends. The lxx have omitted "all the nations" as superfluous. See a like conglomeration of words in a similar description, Ezekiel 26:7. "All her towns" are the towns of Judah which belong to Jerusalem; see Jeremiah 19:15. According to Jeremiah 34:7, the strong towns not yet taken are meant, especially those strongly fortified, Lachish and Azekah in the plain (Joshua 15:39, Joshua 15:35), the former of which is shown still under the name Um Lakhis, while the latter is to be sought for in the vicinity of Socho; see on Joshua 10:3, Joshua 10:10, and 2 Chronicles 11:9. - Jeremiah is to say to the king:
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