And said unto Jeremiah the prophet
That is, some one of them, as the mouth of the whole body, very probably Johanan: let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee;
they treat the prophet with great respect, and are very humble and submissive, as if they were very hearty and sincere in their request: and pray for us unto the Lord thy God;
as if they were conscious of their own inability to pray for themselves, and of their unworthiness to call God their God; and as if they had a high opinion of, he prophet, as having an interest in God, and great power with him in prayer, whom he could not well deny anything: [even] for all this remnant;
this poor remnant, this handful of people, left of the sword, famine, and pestilence, left in the land by the Chaldeans, and who had escaped the cruelty of Ishmael; and for whom it might be hoped the Lord would still have a regard, since he had so mercifully and wonderfully preserved them: for we are left [but] a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us;
the number of the people had been very large, but by the judgments of the sword, famine, and pestilence, and captivity, they were greatly reduced; here was their whole number before the prophet; his eyes beheld them, and the condition they were in: this they said to move his compassion, and very likely to suggest to him how improbable it was that they should ever be able to continue in their own land; but that it would be better to put themselves under the protection of a neighbouring nation, Egypt, whither they were inclined to go; and hoped to have a word from the Lord by the prophet, to direct them thither.