Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem
At least he attempted to do so, taking the opportunity of the siege of the city being broke up: what were his reasons for it are not certain; whether that he might not be put into prison, which he might fear for what he had just prophesied of concerning the return of the Chaldean army, that should take the city, and burn it; or to save himself from the destruction which he was sure would come upon it; or because he found he could do no good by his preaching and prophesying in it: however his view was to go into the land of Benjamin;
his native country, the tribe he belonged to; and very likely to Anathoth in that tribe, where he was born, and had lived. Josephus F5 is express for it, which he says was twenty furlongs from Jerusalem: to separate himself thence in the midst of the people:
or, "to slip away thence in the midst of the people" F6; the siege being raised, the people that had fled to Jerusalem for safety crowded out again to go into their own countries, which the prophet thought to take the advantage of, and slip away in a crowd unobserved; though the words may be rendered, "to take part from thence in the midst of the people" F7; either to take part of the spoil left there by the Chaldean army; or with the priests there, of what belonged to them, of whose number he was, ( Jeremiah 1:1 ) . The Targum is,
``to divide an inheritance which he had there in the midst of the people;''and to the same sense are the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions F8.
F5 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 7. sect. 3.
F6 (Meh Kwtb Mvm qlxl) "ad lubrificandum seipsum", Montanus; "ad delabendum", Junius & Tremellius; "elabendo", Piscator; "ut subduecret se", Grotius.
F7 "Ut partem acciperet ibi in medio populi", Schmidt.
F8 Vid. Gloss. in T. Bab. Sota, fol. 42. 1. & Pesikta apud Yalkut in loc.