Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel
For the letter was written by the order of the Lord, was endited by him, and was sent in his name, the prophet was only his amanuensis; and the titles which the Lord here takes are worthy of notice: "the Lord of hosts": of the armies above and below, that does according to his pleasure in heaven and in earth, with whom nothing is impossible; who could easily destroy the enemies of his people, and deliver them, either immediately by his power, or mediately by means of armies on earth, whom he could assemble, and send at pleasure; or by legions of angels at his command: "the God of Israel"; their covenant God; who still continued to be so, notwithstanding their sins and transgressions, and though in captivity in a foreign land; and a good him this, to preserve them from the idolatry of the country they were in, and to observe unto them that he only was to be worshipped by them: unto all that are carried away captives:
or, "to all of the captivity"; or, "to the whole captivity" F18; high and low, rich and poor; this letter was an interesting one to them all: whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;
for though their sins and iniquities were the moving, meritorious, and procuring causes of their captivity; and Nebuchadnezzar and his army the instruments; yet God was the efficient cause: the Chaldeans could never have carried them captive, if the Lord had not willed it, or had not done it by them; for there is no "evil [of this kind] in a city, and the Lord hath not done it", ( Amos 3:6 ) .
F18 (hlwgh lkl) "uersae migrationi", Schmidt; "omni transmigrationi", Pagninus, Montanus.