Jeremiah 38:26
Then you shall say to them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.
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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.So - And. In addition to the ridicule there shall be the miseries of the capture.

Thou shalt cause this city to be burned - literally, as margin. It shall be thy own act as completely as if done with thine own hand.

26. presented—literally, "made my supplication to fall"; implying supplication with humble prostration (see on [954]Jer 36:7).

Jonathan's house—(Jer 37:15), different from Malchiah's dungeon (Jer 38:6). This statement was true, though not the whole truth; the princes had no right to the information; no sanction is given by Scripture here to Jeremiah's representation of this being the cause of his having come to the king. Fear drove him to it. Compare Ge 20:2, 12; on the other hand, 1Sa 16:2, 5.

left off speaking with—Hebrew, "were silent from him," that is, withdrawing from him they left him quiet (1Sa 7:8, Margin).

The king instructs the prophet, in case the princes should be inquisitive to know what discourse passed betwixt the king and him, to tell them that he petitioned him that he might be sent no more to the prison in the house of Jonathan, of which he complained, and petitioned the king to be freed from it, Jeremiah 37:20. Then thou shalt say unto them,.... Here the king puts words into the prophet's mouth, what he should say to the princes, to put them off from inquiring further, and so keep the matter a secret:

I presented my supplication before the king; or "caused it to fall" (d); delivered it in an humble and submissive manner:

that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there; this he had entreated of the king before, Jeremiah 37:20; and now, no doubt, renewed his request, having this fair opportunity with the king alone to do it; or, however, it is highly probable he did it upon this hint of the king. This shows how much the king stood in fear of his princes in this time of his distress; and that he had only the name of a king, and had not courage and resolution enough to act of himself, according to the dictates of his mind; yea, that he feared men more than he feared the Lord.

(d) "cadere feci deprecationem meam", Pagninus; "cadere faciens fui", &c. Schmidt.

Then thou shalt say to them, I {l} presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.

(l) In this appears the infirmity of the prophet, who dissembled to save his life even though it was not to the denial of his doctrine or to the hurt of any.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. I presented my supplication] See on Jeremiah 36:7.

to Jonathan’s house] See Jeremiah 37:15.Against the advice that he should save his life by surrendering to the Chaldeans, Zedekiah suggests the consideration, "I am afraid of the Jews, who have deserted [נפל אל as in Jeremiah 37:13] to the Chaldeans, lest they give me into their hands and maltreat me." התעלּל בּ, illudere alicui, to abuse any one by mockery or ill-treatment; cf. Numbers 22:29; 1 Chronicles 10:4, etc. Jeremiah replies, Jeremiah 38:20., "They will not give thee up. Yet, pray, listen to the voice of Jahveh, in that which I say to thee, that it may be well with thee, and that thy soul may live. Jeremiah 38:21. But if thou dost refuse to go out i.e., to surrender thyself to the Chaldeans, this is the word which the Lord hath shown me has revealed to me: Jeremiah 38:22. Behold, all the women that are left in the house of the king of Judah shall be brought out to the princes of the king of Babylon, and those [women] shall say, Thy friends have misled thee and have overcome thee; thy feet are sunk in the mud, they have turned away back. Jeremiah 38:23. And all thy wives and thy children shall they bring out to the Chaldeans, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand; for thou shalt be seized by the hand of the king of Babylon, and thou shalt burn this city with fire." - After Jeremiah had once more assured the king that he would save his life by voluntary surrender, he announces to him that, on the other alternative, instead of his becoming the sport of the deserters, the women of his harem would be insulted. The women who remain in the king's house, as distinguished from "thy wives" (Jeremiah 38:23), are the women of the royal harem, the wives of former kings, who remain in the harem as the concubines of the reigning king. These are to be brought out to the generals of the Chaldean king, and to sing a satire on him, to this effect: "Thy friends have misled thee, and overpowered thee," etc. The first sentence of this song is from Obadiah 1:7, where השּׁיאוּך ere stands instead of הסּיתוּך. The friends (אנשׁי שׁלמך, cf. Jeremiah 20:10) are his great men and his false prophets. Through their counsels, these have led him astray, and brought him into a bog, in which his feet stick fast, and then they have gone back; i.e., instead of helping him out, they have deserted him, leaving him sticking in the bog. The expression is figurative, and the meaning of the figure is plain (רגלך is plural). בּץ, ἁπ λεγ.., is equivalent to בּצּה, a bog, Job 8:11. Moreover, the wives and children of Zedekiah are to fall into the hand of the Chaldeans. מוצאים, the participle, is used instead of the finite tense to express the notion of indefinite personality: "they bring them out." תּתּפשׂ בּיד ".tuo meht gnirb , properly, "to be seized in the hand," is a pregnant construction for, "to fall into the hand and be held fast by it." "Thou shalt burn this city," i.e., bring the blame of burning it upon thyself. Ewald, Hitzig, and Graf, following the lxx, Syr., and Chald., would change תּשׂרף into תּשּׂרף, but needlessly.
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