Jeremiah 38:22
And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes, and those women shall say, Your friends have set you on, and have prevailed against you: your feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back.
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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.All the women that are left - Belonging to the harems of former kings (compare 1 Kings 2:22), attendants, and slaves.

Thy friends ... - This satirical song (compare Obadiah 1:7) should be translated as a distich:

Thy friends have urged thee on and prevailed upon thee:

Thy feet are stuck in the mire; they have turned back.

Thy friends - literally "men of thy peace," thy acquaintance Jeremiah 20:10. They urge Zedekiah on to a hopeless struggle with the Chaldaeans, and when he gets into difficulties leave him in the lurch.

22. women—The very evil which Zedekiah wished to escape by disobeying the command to go forth shall befall him in its worst form thereby. Not merely the Jewish deserters shall "mock" him (Jer 38:19), but the very "women" of his own palace and harem, to gratify their new lords, will taunt him. A noble king in sooth, to suffer thyself to be so imposed on!

Thy friends—Hebrew, "men of thy peace" (see Jer 20:10; Ps 41:9, Margin). The king's ministers and the false prophets who misled him.

sunk in … mire—proverbial for, Thou art involved by "thy friends'" counsels in inextricable difficulties. The phrase perhaps alludes to Jer 38:6; a just retribution for the treatment of Jeremiah, who literally "sank in the mire."

they are turned … back—Having involved thee in the calamity, they themselves shall provide for their own safety by deserting to the Chaldeans (Jer 38:19).

Thou that art afraid of the insultings of men that are thy subjects shalt fall under the insultings and taunts of the women: either the court ladies who were left when Jehoiachin was carried away, or the women belonging to thine own court, shall be taken and brought forth to the king of Babylon’s princes, to be disposed of at their pleasure; and these women shall deride thee, and tell thee, for this thou mayst thank thy hearkening to thy priests and false prophets, called, in the Hebrew, the men of thy peace, because they soothed up the king with the promises of peace.

Thy feet are sunk in the mire: now they have left thee in evils out of which thou canst not escape.

And they are turned away back; and as for them whom thou believedst and trustedst to, and by whose words thou art brought into these snares, they have forsaken thee, every one shifting for himself. And, behold, all the women that are left in the king of Judah's house,.... That were left in the royal palace when Jehoiakim and Jeconiah were carried captives; or which were left of the famine and pestilence in, Zedekiah's house; or would be left there when he should flee and make his escape; meaning his concubines, or maids of honour, and court ladies;

shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes: who shall use them as they think fit, and dispose of them at pleasure:

and those women shall say, thy friends have set thee on, and have prevailed against thee: or, "the men of thy peace" (a); the false prophets, and the princes that hearkened to them, and promised and flattered him with peace and prosperity, these deceived him; they set him on to hold out against the Chaldeans, and not believe the Prophet Jeremiah; and they prevailed with him to do so, though it was against himself, and his own interest:

thy feet are sunk in the mire; not literally, as some Jewish writers suppose, that he got into a quagmire when he fled; though there may be a hint in the expression to the miry dungeon in which he suffered the prophet to be cast; and was now got into one himself, in a figurative sense, being involved in difficulties, out of which he could not extricate himself:

and they are turned away back; meaning either his feet, which were distorted, and had turned aside from the right way; or now could go on no further against the enemy, but were obliged to turn back and flee; or else the men of his peace, the false prophets and princes, who had fed him with vain hopes of safety, now left him, and every man shifted for himself. This would be said by the women, either in a mournful manner, by way of complaint; or as scoffing at the king, as a silly foolish man, to hearken to such persons; and so he that was afraid of being mocked by the Jews is jeered at by the women of his house.

(a) "viri pacis tuae", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Schmidt.

And, behold, all the women that are {k} left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes, and those women shall say, Thy friends have set thee on, and have prevailed against thee: thy feet are sunk in the mire, and they are turned away back.

(k) When Jeconiah and his mother with others were carried away, these women of the king's house were left: who will be taken, says the prophet and tell the king of Babel how Zedekiah has been seduced by his familiar friends and false prophets who have left him in the mire.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. all the women that are left] the women of the harem generally, concubines and their attendants. If Zedekiah prove obstinate, these also will join in the reproaches that shall be heaped upon him.

Thy familiar friends, etc.] lit. as mg. The men of thy peace. The women’s reproaches are in the Ḳinah measure.

have set thee on] incited, instigated thee. Cp. Obadiah 1:7.

thy feet are sunk in the mire] “The metaphor answers to the experience through which the prophet had passed.… He had been cast by his enemies into the cistern, and his feet had sunk in the mire; Zedekiah had been misled by his friends, but when his feet sank in the mire, no one drew him out.” Peake.Verse 22. - All the women that are left; i.e. probably the wives of Zedekiah's royal predecessors, who had passed into his own harem as concubines. Even Hezekiah, as Payne Smith well points out, had a numerous harem ('Records of the Past,' 1:39, where "daughters" is equivalent to "girls"). Zedekiah's own wives are spoken of in the next verse. Thy friends have set thee on, etc. The first half of this taunting song (mashal) reminds of Obadiah 1:7 (for other points of contact with Obadiah, see on Jeremiah 49:7-22). The meaning is that, after urging the weak-minded Zedekiah on to a conflict with the Chaldeans, they have left him involved in hopeless difficulties. Conversation between the king and the prophet. - Jeremiah 38:14. King Zedekiah was desirous of once more hearing a message of God from the prophet, and for this object had him brought into the third entrance in the house of the Lord. Nothing further is known about the situation and the nature of this entrance; possibly it led from the palace to the temple, and seems to have been an enclosed space, for the king could carry on a private conversation there with the prophet. The king said to him, "I ask you about a matter, do not conceal anything from me." He meant a message from God regarding the final issue of the siege, cf. Jeremiah 37:7. Jeremiah, knowing the aversion of the king to the truth, replies, Jeremiah 38:15 : "If I tell thee [sc. the word of the Lord], wilt thou not assuredly kill me? And if I were to give thee advice, thou wouldst not listen to me." Jeremiah 38:16. Then the king sware to him secretly, "As Jahveh liveth, who hath made us this soul, I shall certainly not kill thee, nor deliver thee into the hand of these men who seek thy life." את אשׁר, as in Jeremiah 27:8, properly means, "with regard to Him who has created us." The Qeri expunges את. "These men" are the princes mentioned in Jeremiah 38:1.
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