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hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I bring my words upon this city for evil and not for good; and they shall be fulfilled before thy eyes on that day. 17. But I will deliver thee on that day, is Yahveh's oracle; and thou shalt not be given up into the hand of the people, of whom thou art afraid; 18. but I will cause thee to escape in safety, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, and thou shalt have thy soul for a prey, because thou trustedst in me, is Yahveh's oracle.
on xxii. 25. The people of whom thou art afraid, i.e. dreaded foes.
Contents: a. Jeremiah's Release from the guard - court, xxxviii. 28-xxxix. 14; i. Promise to Ebed-melech, vv. 15-18.
If we separate from this chapter the interpolations (xxxix. 1, 2, 4-10), easily recognised and borrowed from ch. lii. or the source underlying it, there remains a continuation of the narrative of Jeremiah's fortunes on the capture of the city, and an oracle to Ebed-melech given afterwards. The Babylonian princes, who held rule in conquered Jerusalem, received through Nebuzaradan, chief of the royal body-guard, a command from Nebuchadnezzar, whose attention had long been directed to the prophet and his important work, to treat Jeremiah with regard, and allow him to take his own course. Thus he was released from the guard-court and placed at his desire under the oversight of the new governor Gedaliah. Since, however, we find him in xh 1 a captive on the road to Babylon, and he there first receives his freedom from the lips of Nebuzaradan, we must suppose, unless the two narratives are pronounced contradictory, that Jeremiah used his freedom in comforting and exhorting his unhappy captive countrymen, whereupon he himself was confounded with them; a lot which he would scarcely have suffered in the house of Gedaliah. Thus he was included among those carried away until he came to the station, where Nebuzaradan, to whom Jeremiah perhaps appealed, inspected the caravan, and finally set him at liberty. Ch. xxxix. merely relates how he was set free from the guard-court, ch. xl. how he was spared the march into exile. The link between the two accounts is wanting.
Vv. 15-18 tell the reward given to the self-sacrificing Ebed-melech for his kindly act (xxxviii . 7 ffi), which was really an act of faith (ver. 18),—given first by the prophet's lips, and next without doubt in reality. This oracle is only now related, although given, of course, before the fall of Jerusalem, in order that the account of Jeremiah's own fortunes may proceed without interruption.
Warning Against Settling In Egypt, Chs. Xl. 1-xliii. 7.
XL. 1. The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahveh, after Nebuzaradan, the chief of the guards, had dismissed him from Eamah, when he took him, being bound with chains, among the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were carried away to Babylon. 2. And the chief of the guard took Jeremiah, and said to him: Yahveh, thy God, has spoken this evil against this place. 3. Then Yahveh brought to pass and accomplished as he said, because you sinned against Yahveh and hearkened not to his voice; and so this word has come upon you. 4. And now, behold, I this day release thee from
Ver. 1. The word which came to Jeremiah. This heading shows that the following narrative has only secondary importance. The principal matter recorded is the divine revelation, which follows first in xlii . 7 ff. But the heading not merely refers to this oracle, but to the revelations which Jeremiah received after his release. It thus resembles the one in i. 1-3, but merely as an appendix; see on i. 1-3. According to Delitzsch, Messianic Proplucies, 1880, p. 79, ch. xl. 1 refers to the revelation now received at Eamah (cf. xxxi. 15), chs. xxx., xxxi. Nebuzaradan, see on xxxix. 11.—Ramuh, now Er-Eam, two hours north of Jerusalem (see on xxxi. 15), was the first station where the array of the prisoners was inspected by the commander. innp3 (cf. the same word, xxxvii. 17), taking him out from among the captives, when he had observed him or heard of his presence.—D'ptK=D,pt, chains, here manacles, according to ver. 4, with K prefixed only in these passages. Ver. 2. Jeremiah, b with accusative is usual in the Aramaic and Syriac, and creeps into biblical Hebrew.—Against this place, see on vii. 3. Ver. 3. And so it happened to you = this word came upon you. The article before "\Tt, required by Keri, is not altogether necessary, Ges. § 111. 2a; Eng. § 108. Ver. 4. The perfect is the chains which are on thy hand; if it seem good in thy eyes to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will let mine eye rest upon thee; but if it please thee not to come with me to Babylon, be it so; behold, the whole land is before thee; where it seems good and right to thee to go, there go. 5. And when he did not yet turn (he said): Eeturn to Gedaliah, son of Ahikara, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon set over the cities of Judah, and remain with him among the people, or go wherever it 'seems right to thee to go. And the chief of the guard gave him provision and a present, and dismissed him. 6. Then came Jeremiah to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, to Mizpah, and he dwelt with him among the people left in the land.
7. And all the captains of troops who were in the field heard, they with their men, that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, over the land, and that
used in an act now going on, which is completed already in thought: I release thee herewith. I will set my eyes on thee, i.e. treat thee with goodwill and consideration, according to the command xxxix. 12.—The whole land is before thee, to choose a dwelling-place at pleasure.—3iB belongs to T?V2, ^ depends on "V?. Ver. 5. The first words are difficult, the discourse being interrupted. But the sense plainly is, that Jeremiah at first showed no desire to forsake his captive countrymen until the commander reminded him that a new government was established in Judaea in the person of Gedaliah, who was friendly to him. This opened a better prospect for the nation and country, and at the same time disclosed to the unselfish prophet a new and fine sphere of duty. It does not necessarily follow that the text is defective. nmK, ration, portion (cf. lii. 34), properly as much as the traveller needs, which is here quite in place. The present (nKcD), properly load which one carries away, seems to have been an additional gift intended to preserve the prophet, who was now quite without means, from want for some time. Ver. 6. Gedaliah had chosen Mizpah for his abode after the destruction of the capital; to-day Nebi Semwil, about two hours north-west of Jerusalem, on a commanding hill not very far south-west from Eamah. Ver. 7. The troop captains, lying here and there in the land with scattered forces, now gradually return. TpBn, the second time with nK (with): had left in his keeping, i.e. put under his care, committed to his charge. They were especially defenceless people, women and children, whose he had assigned to him men, women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of those who were not carried away to Babylon. 8. And they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, and, indeed, Isbmael son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maachathite, they and their men. 9. Then Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, swore to them and their men, saying: Fear not to serve the Chaldaeans; remain in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. 10. And I myself, behold, I remain at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldaeans, who shall come to us. But do you gather wine and fruit and oil, and put it in your stores, and dwell in your cities, which you possess. 11. And also all the Jews who were in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and in all lands, heard that the king of Babylon had left
husbands and fathers had fallen in battle, or were with the troops in the field, or had even been taken into captivity; and also poor people, whom the conquerors did not think it worth the trouble to take to Babylon. And especially of the poverty (2 Kings xxv. 12) of the land = poor people. The J0 indicates the class to which those in question belong. Ver. 8. Enumeration of these chief people: Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, according to xli. 1 of royal race; Johanan and Jonathan, two sons of Kareah, of whom the second is omitted in the fragmentary narrative 2 Kings xxv. 23; Seraiah, son of Tanhumeth; further, the sons of Ophai (Kethib, LXX) or Ephai (Keri), of Netopha, a town not far from Bethlehem in Judaea, Ezra ii. 22; Neh. vii. 26; finally, Jezaniah (see the fuller form of the name, 2 Kings xxv. 23), son of the Maacathite; the father accordingly sprang from Maachah, a district which lay north of the East-Jordan land, at the foot of Hermon; cf. on xlii. 1. Ver. 9. He sware to them that they had nothing to fear from the Chaldaeans. Ver. 10. To stand before the Ghaldozans, i.e. to represent the land in their presence. Gedaliah is certain that, if he is surety for the obedience of the land, they will do it no harm, so that the people may give themselves without fear to getting their livelihood.—Of which you shall have taken possession. Ver. 11. The tidings of the new settlement spread far and wide, and attracted the Jews who had fled into neighbouring countries. Such a fugitive, sojourning with the Ammonites, was Ishmael; the other captains came to Mizpah to