Jeremiah 37

1 Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned as king, instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. 2 But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, listened to the LORD’s words, which he spoke by the prophet Jeremiah. 3 Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now to the LORD our God for us. 4 Now Jeremiah came in and went out amongst the people; for they had not put him into prison. 5 Pharaoh’s army had come out of Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they broke up from Jerusalem. 6 Then came the LORD’s word to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 7 the LORD, the God of Israel, says, You shall tell the king of Judah, who sent you to me to enquire of me: Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which has come out to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. 8 The Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city; and they shall take it, and burn it with fire. 9 the LORD says, Don’t deceive yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us; for they shall not depart. 10 For though you had struck the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained but wounded men amongst them, yes would they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire. 11 When the army of the Chaldeans had broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12 then Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to receive his portion there, in the middle of the people. 13 When he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he laid hold on Jeremiah the prophet, saying, You are falling away to the Chaldeans. 14 Then Jeremiah said, It is false; I am not falling away to the Chaldeans. But he didn’t listen to him; so Irijah laid hold on Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes. 15 The princes were angry with Jeremiah, and struck him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe; for they had made that the prison. 16 When Jeremiah had come into the dungeon house, and into the cells, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; 17 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and fetched him: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the LORD? Jeremiah said, There is. He said also, You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon. 18 Moreover Jeremiah said to king Zedekiah, Wherein have I sinned against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where now are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, The king of Babylon shall not come against you, nor against this land? 20 Now please hear, my lord the king: please let my supplication be presented before you, that you not cause me to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there. 21 Then Zedekiah the king commanded, and they committed Jeremiah into the court of the guard; and they gave him daily a loaf of bread out of the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

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

Verses 1-10

Numbers witness the fatal effects of other men’s sins, yet heedlessly step into their places, and follow the same destructive course. When in distress, we ought to desire the prayers of ministers and Christian friends. And it is common for those to desire to be prayed for, who will not be advised; yet sinners are often hardened by a pause in judgments. But if God help us not, no creature can. Whatever instruments God has determined to use, they shall do the work, though they seem unlikely.

Verses 11-21

There are times when it is the wisdom of good men to retire, to enter into their chambers, and to shut the doors, Is. 26:20. Jeremiah was seized as a deserter, and committed to prison. But it is no new thing for the best friends of the church to be belied, as in the interests of her worst enemies. When thus falsely accused, we may deny the charge, and commit our cause to Him who judges righteously. Jeremiah obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful, and would not, to obtain mercy of man, be unfaithful to God or to his prince; he tells the king the whole truth. When Jeremiah delivered God’s message, he spake with boldness; but when he made his own request, he spake submissively. A lion in God’s cause must be a lamb in his own. And God gave Jeremiah favour in the eyes of the king. The Lord God can make even the cells of a prison become pastures to his people, and will raise up friends to provide for them, so that in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

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