Then came all the princes to Jeremiah, and asked him: and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him; for the matter was not perceived.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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).
and he told them according to all those words that the king had commanded; what he told them, no doubt, was truth; though he did not tell them all the truth; which he was not obliged to do, having no command from God, and being forbid by the king:
so they left off speaking with him; or, "were silent from him" (e); went away silent, not being able to disprove what he had said, or object unto it, and finding they could get nothing more out of him:
for the matter was not perceived; or, "was not heard" (f); though there were persons that saw the king and the prophet together, yet nobody heard anything that passed between them; and therefore Jeremiah could not be confronted in what he had said, or be charged with concealing anything.Then came all the princes unto Jeremiah, and asked him: and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him; for the matter was not perceived.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. perceived] mg. reported, i.e. the princes were given no further particulars as to the conversation.Verse 27. - He told them according to all these words. A controversy has arisen as to whether Jeremiah was justified in concealing the truth. But is a man bound to confess the truth to a murderer? 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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