Then Jeremiah said unto Zedekiah
Here follows the prophets answer, in which he tacitly desires to be excused saying any thing upon this head, since it might be attended with danger to himself, and be of no service to the king; and therefore prudently thought fit to come into some agreement with the king, to secure himself, if he insisted upon it: if I declare [it] unto thee, wilt thou not surely put me to death?
this he might fear, from past experience of the king's conduct; for, though he might not slay him with his own hands, or give orders to others to do it; yet he might deliver him up to the will and mercy of his princes, as he had done before; not that the prophet was afraid to die, or was deterred through fear of death from delivering the word of the Lord, and doing his work; but he thought it proper to make use of prudent means to preserve his life; besides, he had no express order from the Lord to say anything concerning this matter at this time: and if give thee counsel, wilt thou not hearken to me?
or, "thou wilt not hearken to me" F26; so the Targum, Syriac, and Vulgate Latin versions; and therefore it was to no purpose to give him any advice; from all this the king might easily understand the prophet had nothing to say that would be agreeable to him; however, he was very desirous to know what it was, and therefore promises indemnity and security, as follows:
F26 (yla emvt al) "non audies me", V. L. Schmidt; "non audies ad me", Montanus; "non auscultabis mihi", Piscator.