Jeremiah 40:3
Now the LORD has brought it, and done according as he has said: because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come on you.
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40:1-6 The captain of the guard seems to glory that he had been God's instrument to fulfil, what Jeremiah had been God's messenger to foretell. Many can see God's justice and truth with regard to others, who are heedless and blind as to themselves and their own sins. But, sooner or later, all men shall be made sensible that their sin is the cause of all their miseries. Jeremiah has leave to dispose of himself; but is advised to go to Gedaliah, governor of the land under the king of Babylon. It is doubtful whether Jeremiah acted right in this decision. But those who desire the salvation of sinners, and the good of the church, are apt to expect better times from slight appearances, and they will prefer the hope of being useful, to the most secure situations without it.As what follows is mainly a historical narrative, it seems that the title "The word ..." was appropriate not merely to a prediction of the future, but to an account of the past, if written by a prophet. The Jews regarded history as inspired if written by a seer, and thus their historical books are called "the early prophets."

Ramah - Probably all the prisoners of note were collected at Ramah indiscriminately, and examined there.

Bound in chains - The prisoners were probably fastened together in couples by one hand, and a rope passed down the center to bind them in a long line, and prevent attempts at escape.

3. ye—(See on [959]Jer 40:1). His address is directed to the Jews as well as to Jeremiah. God makes the very heathen testify for Him against them (De 29:24, 25). This pagan commander could see that which the blind Jews would not understand: they said, Wherefore is this great evil come upon us? Nebuzar-adan knew wherefore, and gives God the glory of his master’s victory, as also of his own faithfulness, saying God had but done what he said, brought the evil which he had pronounced against that city; he also acknowledgeth God’s justice, that this evil was come upon them because of their sins. Thus the men of Tyre and Sidon, and of Nineveh, (according to our Savour’s words,) shall rise up in judgment against the Jews that lived in our Saviour’s time, and Nebuzar-adan another day shall rise up in judgment against those Jews that lived in Jeremiah’s time, and shall condemn them. Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as he hath said,.... As he purposed, so it came to pass; as he foretold by his prophet, so it was brought about by his providence. This Heathen captain acknowledges the hand of the Lord in all this; and suggests, that his master, the king of Babylon, himself, and the rest of the generals, were only instruments the Lord made use of; which is very piously as well as wisely said; and more is here acknowledged by him than by the Jews themselves; who were not willing to believe that God had determined evil against them, or would bring it on them; at least, this they did not care to believe and own before, whatever they did now; he goes on to observe the cause of all this:

because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed his voice,

therefore this thing is come upon you; meaning not Jeremiah particularly, but his countrymen; and perhaps he might turn himself to, and address, the captives that were before him. Here he vindicates the justice of God; and ascribes the ruin of this people, not to the valour of Nebuchadnezzar and his captains; nor to the strength, and courage, and skilfulness of his army; or to any righteousness and merits of the king of Babylon; or to the justness of his cause; but to the sins of the people.

Now the LORD hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have {b} sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.

(b) God moved this infidel to speak this to declare the great blindness and obstinacy of the Jews who could not feel that which this heathen man confessed.

Verse 3. The Lord hath brought it, etc. The colouring of the speech is that of a Jewish prophet (comp. Isaiah 36:10). Jeremiah's message of comfort to Ebedmelech. - Jeremiah 39:15. "Now to Jeremiah there had come the word of the Lord, while he remained shut up in the court of the prison, as follows: Jeremiah 39:16. Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Cushite, saying, Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring my words against this city for evil and not for good, and they shall take place before thee on that day. Jeremiah 39:17. But I will deliver thee on that day, saith Jahveh; neither shalt thou be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid. Jeremiah 39:18. For I will surely save thee, neither shalt thou fall by the sword, and thine own life shall be thy spoil, because thou hast trusted me, saith Jahveh." - This word of God for Ebedmelech came to the prophet, no doubt, very soon after his deliverance from the miry pit by this pious Ethiopian; but it is not given till now, and this by way of supplement, lest its introduction previously should break the chain of events which occurred at the time of that deliverance, Jeremiah 38:14-39:13. Hence היה, Jeremiah 39:15, is to be translated as a pluperfect. "Go and say," etc., is not inconsistent with the fact that Jeremiah, from being in confinement, could not leave the court of the prison. For Ebedmelech could come into the prison, and then Jeremiah could go to him and declare the word of God. "Behold, I will bring my words against this city," i.e., I shall cause the evil with which I have threatened Jerusalem and its inhabitants to come, or, to be accomplished (מבי with א dropped, as in Jeremiah 19:15, and אל־ for על). והיוּ לפּניך, "and these words are to take place before thy face," i.e., thou shalt with thine own eyes behold their fulfilment, בּיום ההוּא, i.e., at the time of their occurrence. But thou shalt be saved, not fall into the hands of the enemy and be killed, but carry away thy body out of it all as booty; cf. Jeremiah 21:9; Jeremiah 38:2. "Because thou hast trusted me;" i.e., through the aid afforded to my prophet thou hast continued thy faith in me.
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