Jeremiah 39:16
Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words on this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Go and speak to Ebed-melech.—It lies in the nature of the case that the prophet, when he put this prediction, given during the progress of the siege, on record, knew that it had been fulfilled. We hear nothing more of the faithful Ethiopian, but we may believe that he was spared by the Chaldæans, probably at the prophet’s intercession. It is not without significance that the promise is given in the same terms as that to Baruch in Jeremiah 45:5. The “men” of whom he was afraid were obviously the princes whom he had irritated by his interference on behalf of Jeremiah.

39:15-18 Here is a message to assure Ebed-melech of a recompence for his great kindness to Jeremiah. Because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord. God recompenses men's services according to their principles. Those who trust God in the way of duty, as this good man did, will find that their hope shall not fail in times of the greatest danger.This prophecy probably came to Jeremiah after his interview with Zedekiah Jeremiah 38:14, but is added here as a supplement in order not to break the sequence of events. 16. Go—not literally, for he was in confinement, but figuratively.

before thee—in thy sight.

Ebed-melech is here again called the

Ethiopian, to the reproach of the Jews, that a stranger should show more kindness to a prophet of the Lord than any of that nation to whom he was specially sent; which was a type of the calling of the Gentiles, and rejection of the Jews. God assures Ebed-melech the city should be taken and burnt, and the people carried into captivity. Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopians,.... Not that the prophet was to go, or could go, out of prison, to deliver this message to Ebedmelech; but that he should, as he had opportunity, acquaint him with it; either by writing to him, or by word of mouth, when he should visit him; for no doubt he sometimes did, having so great a respect for the prophet:

saying, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; whom Ebedmelech, though an Ethiopian, served; being a proselyte, and a good man; and therefore would listen unto and believe what came from him:

behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; meaning the prophecies delivered out by Jeremiah, which Ebedmelech was no stranger to, these should be accomplished; not what promised good, on condition of repentance and amendment; but what threatened evil to the city, and the inhabitants of it, even the destruction of them:

and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee; signifying that he should live till then, and his enemies would not be able to take away his life; and that he should see with his eyes all that was predicted accomplished, and he himself safe amidst all this.

Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 16. - Go and speak. Ebed-melech must be supposed to come into the court of the watch, so that Jeremiah might communicate with him. "And the rest of the people that had remained in the city, and the deserters who had deserted to him, and the rest of the people that remained, Nebuzaradan, the chief of the body-guards, led captive to Babylon. Jeremiah 39:10. But of the poorest of the people, who had nothing, Nebuzaradan left some in the country, and he gave them vineyards and arable fields at the same time." עליו after נפלוּ refers, ad sensum, to the king of Babylon; his name, certainly, is not given in the immediate context, but it is readily suggested by it. In Jeremiah 52:15 we find אל־מלך בּבל instead of עליו; yet we might also refer this last-named word to the following subject, Nebuzaradan, as the representative of the king. רב־טבּחים, properly, chief of the slayers, i.e., of the executioners, is the chief of the king's body-guard, who occupied the first place among the royal attendants; see on Genesis 37:36. By the addition of the words בּיום ההוּא, on that day, i.e., then, the more general account regarding Jerusalem and its inhabitants is concluded, for the purpose of attaching to it the notice regarding the fate of the prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 39:11-14.
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