Jeremiah 21

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, saying, 2 “Please inquire of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us. Perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may withdraw from us.” 3 Then Jeremiah said to them, “Tell Zedekiah: 4 ‘the LORD, the God of Israel says, “Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans who besiege you, without the walls; and I will gather them into the middle of this city. 5 I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation. 6 I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and animal. They will die of a great pestilence. 7 Afterward,” says the LORD, “I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, even those who are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life. He will strike them with the edge of the sword. He will not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.”’ 8 “To this people you shall say, ‘the LORD says: “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 9 He who remains in this city will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he who goes out, and passes over to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall live, and he will escape with his life. 10 For I have set my face on this city for evil, and not for good,” says the LORD. “It will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.”’ 11 “Concerning the house of the king of Judah, hear the LORD’s word. 12 House of David, the LORD says, ‘Execute justice in the morning, and deliver him who is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my wrath go out like fire, and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 13 Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, and of the rock of the plain,’ says the LORD. ‘You that say, “Who would come down against us?” or “Who would enter into our homes?” 14 I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says the LORD; and I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it shall devour all that is around her.’”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-10

When the siege had begun, Zedekiah sent to ask of Jeremiah respecting the event. In times of distress and danger, men often seek those to counsel and pray for them, whom, at other times, they despise and oppose; but they only seek deliverance from punishment. When professors continue in disobedience, presuming upon outward privileges, let them be told that the Lord will prosper his open enemies against them. As the king and his princes would not surrender, the people are exhorted to do so. No sinner on earth is left without a Refuge, who really desires one; but the way of life is humbling, it requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties.

Verses 11-14

The wickedness of the king and his family was the worse because of their relation to David. They were urged to act with justice, at once, lest the Lord’s anger should be unquenchable. If God be for us, who can be against us? But if he be against us, who can do any thing for us?

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