Jeremiah 38:18
But if you will not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape out of their hand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
38:14-28 Jeremiah was not forward to repeat the warnings, which seemed only to endanger his own life, and to add to the king's guilt, but asked whether he feared to do the will of God. The less men fear God, the more they fear men; often they dare not act according to their own judgments and consciences.That made us this soul - This very unusual addition to the formula of an oath 1 Samuel 20:3 was intended to strengthen it. By acknowledging that his soul was God's workmanship Zedekiah also implied his belief in God's power over it. 17. princes—(Jer 39:3). He does not say "to the king himself," for he was at Riblah, in Hamath (Jer 39:5; 2Ki 25:6). "If thou go forth" (namely, to surrender; 2Ki 24:12; Isa 36:16), God foreknows future conditional contingencies, and ordains not only the end, but also the means to the end. As he before had used exhortations and promises, so here he useth threatenings, to persuade him to that which indeed was in his power to do, but God infallibly knew that he would not do; the end of God in which could be no other than to leave him without excuse, in not obeying what God commanded. But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes,.... And surrender to them:

then shall this city be given into the hands of the Chaldeans; if not willingly delivered up by the king of Judah, it shall be forcibly taken by the king of Babylon's army, through the permission of God; with respect to whom it is said to be given unto them, even by him who has the disposing of cities and kingdoms:

and they shall burn it with fire; as it had been often foretold it should, and as it accordingly was, Jeremiah 39:8;

and thou shalt not escape out of their hand; though he might hope he should, and would attempt to do it, yet should be taken; and though he should not be slain, yet should never regain his liberty, or get out of their hands, when once in them; see Jeremiah 52:7.

But if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ebedmelech took the men at his hand, went into the king's house under the treasury, and took thence rags of torn and of worn-out garments, and let them down on ropes to Jeremiah into the pit, and said to him, "Put, I pray thee, the rages of the torn and cast-off clothes under thine arm-pits under the ropes." Jeremiah did so, and then they drew him out of the pit by the ropes. תּחת is a room under the treasury. בּלוי, in Jeremiah 38:12 בּלואים, from בּלה, to be worn away (of clothes), are rags. סחבות (from סחב, to drag, drag about, tear to pieces) are torn pieces of clothing. מלחים, worn-out garments, from מלח, in Niphal, Isaiah 51:6, to vanish, dissolve away. The article at הסּחבות is expunged from the Qeri for sake of uniformity, because it is not found with מלחים; but it may as well be allowed to stand as be removed. אצּילות ידים, properly the roots of the hands, are not the knuckles of the hand, but the shoulders of the arms. מתּחת לחבלים, under the ropes; i.e., the rags were to serve as pads to the ropes which were to be placed under the arm-pits, to prevent the ropes from cutting the flesh. When Jeremiah had been drawn out in this way from the deep pit of mire, he remained in the court of the prison.
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