Compare Translations for Jeremiah 38:4

Jeremiah 38:4 ASV
Then the princes said unto the king, Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; forasmuch as he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
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Jeremiah 38:4 BBE
Then the rulers said to the king, Let this man be put to death, because he is putting fear into the hearts of the men of war who are still in the town, and into the hearts of the people, by saying such things to them: this man is not working for the well-being of the people, but for their damage.
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Jeremiah 38:4 CEB
Then the officials said to the king: "This man must be put to death! By saying such things, he is discouraging the few remaining troops left in the city, as well as all the people. This man doesn't seek their welfare but their ruin!"
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Jeremiah 38:4 CJB
The leaders said to the king, "Please let this man be put to death; because by speaking such words to the soldiers left in this city and to all the people, he is demoralizing them. This man is seeking not to benefit this people, but to harm them."
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Jeremiah 38:4 RHE
And the princes said to the king. We beseech thee that this man may be put to death: for on purpose he weakeneth the hands of the men of war, that remain in this city, and the hands of the people, speaking to them according to these words: for this man seeketh not peace to this people, but evil.
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Jeremiah 38:4 ESV
Then the officials said to the king, "Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm."
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Jeremiah 38:4 GW
Then the officials said to the king, "Have this man put to death. He discourages the soldiers who are left in this city and all the people by telling them such things. This man is not trying to help these people; he's trying to hurt them."
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Jeremiah 38:4 GNT
Then the officials went to the king and said, "This man must be put to death. By talking like this he is making the soldiers in the city lose their courage, and he is doing the same thing to everyone else left in the city. He is not trying to help the people; he only wants to hurt them."
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Jeremiah 38:4 HNV
Then the princes said to the king, Let this man, we pray you, be put to death; because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them: for this man doesn't seek the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
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Jeremiah 38:4 CSB
The officials then said to the king, "This man ought to die, because he is weakening the morale of the warriors who remain in this city and of all the people by speaking to them in this way. This man is not seeking the well-being of this people, but disaster."
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Jeremiah 38:4 KJV
Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death : for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
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Jeremiah 38:4 LEB
Then the officials said to the king, "Please, this man must be killed, {because} he [is] making slack the hands of {the soldiers} who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking to them words like these, for this man [is] not seeking for welfare to this people, {but only} for harm."
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Jeremiah 38:4 NAS
Then the officials said to the king, "Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man is not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm."
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Jeremiah 38:4 NCV
Then the officers said to the king, "Jeremiah must be put to death! He is discouraging the soldiers who are still in the city, and all the people, by what he is saying to them. He does not want good to happen to us; he wants to ruin us."
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Jeremiah 38:4 NIRV
Then those officials said to the king, "That man should be put to death. What he says is making the soldiers who are left in this city lose hope. It's making all of the people lose hope too. He isn't interested in what is best for the people. In fact, he's trying to destroy them."
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Jeremiah 38:4 NIV
Then the officials said to the king, "This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin."
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Jeremiah 38:4 NKJV
Therefore the princes said to the king, "Please, let this man be put to death, for thus he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man does not seek the welfare of this people, but their harm."
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Jeremiah 38:4 NLT
So these officials went to the king and said, "Sir, this man must die! That kind of talk will undermine the morale of the few fighting men we have left, as well as that of all the people, too. This man is a traitor!"
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Jeremiah 38:4 NRS
Then the officials said to the king, "This man ought to be put to death, because he is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm."
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Jeremiah 38:4 RSV
Then the princes said to the king, "Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm."
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Jeremiah 38:4 DBY
And the princes said unto the king, Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; for why should he weaken the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking to them according to these words? for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
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Jeremiah 38:4 MSG
These officials told the king, "Please, kill this man. He's got to go! He's ruining the resolve of the soldiers who are still left in the city, as well as the people themselves, by spreading these words. This man isn't looking after the good of this people. He's trying to ruin us!"
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Jeremiah 38:4 WBT
Therefore the princes said to the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
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Jeremiah 38:4 TMB
Therefore the princes said unto the king, "We beseech thee, let this man be put to death; for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words unto them; for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt."
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Jeremiah 38:4 TNIV
Then the officials said to the king, "This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin."
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Jeremiah 38:4 WEB
Then the princes said to the king, Let this man, we pray you, be put to death; because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them: for this man doesn't seek the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
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Jeremiah 38:4 WYC
And the princes said to the king, We pray, that this man be slain; for of before-casting he discomforteth the hands of (the) men warriors, that dwelled in this city, and the hands of all the people, and speaketh to them by all these words. For why this man seeketh not peace to this people, but evil. (And the officers said to the king, We pray, that this man be killed; because by such forecasting he weakeneth the hands, or the resolve, of the warriors, and the hands of all the people, who still remain in this city, yea, by speaking to them by all these words. For this man seeketh not peace for this people, but evil.)
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Jeremiah 38:4 YLT
And the heads say unto the king, `Let, we pray thee, this man be put to death, because that he is making feeble the hands of the men of war, who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking unto them according to these words, for this man is not seeking for the peace of this people, but for its evil.'
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Jeremiah 38 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 38

Jeremiah is cast into a dungeon, from whence he is delivered by an Ethiopian. (1-13) He advises the king to surrender to the Chaldeans. (14-28)

Verses 1-13 Jeremiah went on in his plain preaching. The princes went on in their malice. It is common for wicked people to look upon God's faithful ministers as enemies, because they show what enemies the wicked are to themselves while impenitent. Jeremiah was put into a dungeon. Many of God's faithful witnesses have been privately made away in prisons. Ebed-melech was an Ethiopian; yet he spoke to the king faithfully, These men have done ill in all they have done to Jeremiah. See how God can raise up friends for his people in distress. Orders were given for the prophet's release, and Ebed-melech saw him drawn up. Let this encourage us to appear boldly for God. Special notice is taken of his tenderness for Jeremiah. What do we behold in the different characters then, but the same we behold in the different characters now, that the Lord's children are conformed to his example, and the children of Satan to their master?

Verses 14-28 Jeremiah was not forward to repeat the warnings, which seemed only to endanger his own life, and to add to the king's guilt, but asked whether he feared to do the will of God. The less men fear God, the more they fear men; often they dare not act according to their own judgments and consciences.

Jeremiah 38 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

CHAPTER 38

Jeremiah 38:1-28 . JEREMIAH PREDICTS THE CAPTURE OF JERUSALEM, FOR WHICH HE IS CAST INTO A DUNGEON, BUT IS TRANSFERRED TO THE PRISON COURT ON THE INTERCESSION OF EBED-MELECH, AND HAS A SECRET INTERVIEW WITH ZEDEKIAH.

All this was subsequent to his imprisonment in Jonathan's house, and his release on his interview with Zedekiah. The latter occurred before the return of the Chaldeans to the siege; the similar events in this chapter occurred after it.

1. Jucal--Jehucal ( Jeremiah 37:3 ).
Pashur--( Jeremiah 21:1 ; compare Jeremiah 21:9 with Jeremiah 38:2 ). The deputation in Jeremiah 21:1 , to whom Jeremiah gave this reply, if not identical with the hearers of Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 38:1 ), must have been sent just before the latter "heard" him speaking the same words. Zephaniah is not mentioned here as in Jeremiah 21:1 , but is so in Jeremiah 37:3 . Jucal is mentioned here and in the previous deputation ( Jeremiah 37:3 ), but not in Jeremiah 21:1 . Shephatiah and Gedaliah here do not occur either in Jeremiah 21:1 or Jeremiah 37:3 . The identity of his words in both cases is natural, when uttered, at a very short interval, and one of the hearers (Pashur) being present on both occasions.
unto all the people--They had free access to him in the court of the prison ( Jeremiah 32:12 ).

2. life . . . a prey--He shall escape with his life; though losing all else in a shipwreck, he shall carry off his life as his gain, saved by his going over to the Chaldeans.

4. Had Jeremiah not had a divine commission, he might justly have been accused of treason; but having one, which made the result of the siege certain, he acted humanely as interpreter of God's will under the theocracy, in advising surrender (compare Jeremiah 26:11 ).

5. the king is not he--Zedekiah was a weak prince, and now in his straits afraid to oppose his princes. He hides his dislike of their overweening power, which prevented him shielding Jeremiah as he would have wished, under complimentary speeches. "It is not right that the king should deny aught to such faithful and wise statesmen"; the king is not such a one as to deny you your wishes [JEROME].

6. dungeon--literally, the "cistern." It was not a subterranean prison as that in Jonathan's house ( Jeremiah 37:15 ), but a pit or cistern, which had been full of water, but was emptied of it during the siege, so that only "mire" remained. Such empty cisterns were often used as prisons ( Zechariah 9:11 ); the depth forbade hope of escape.
Hammelech--( Jeremiah 36:26 ). His son followed in the father's steps, a ready tool for evil.
sunk in the mire--Jeremiah herein was a type of Messiah ( Psalms 69:2 Psalms 69:14 ). "I sink in deep mire," &c.

7. Ebed-melech--The Hebrew designation given this Ethiopian, meaning "king's servant." Already, even at this early time, God wished to show what good reason there was for calling the Gentiles to salvation. An Ethiopian stranger saves the prophet whom his own countrymen, the Jews, tried to destroy. So the Gentiles believed in Christ whom the Jews crucified, and Ethiopians were among the earliest converts ( Acts 2:10 Acts 2:41 , 8:27-39 ). Ebed-melech probably was keeper of the royal harem, and so had private access to the king. The eunuchs over harems in the present day are mostly from Nubia or Abyssinia.

8. went forth . . . and spake--not privately, but in public; a proof of fearless magnanimity.

9. die for hunger in the place where he is; for . . . no . . . bread in . . . city--(Compare Jeremiah 37:21 ). He had heretofore got a piece of bread supplied to him. "Seeing that there is the utmost want of bread in the city, so that even if he were at large, there could no more be regularly supplied to him, much less now in a place where none remember or pity him, so that he is likely to die for hunger." "No more bread," that is, no more left of the public store in the city ( Jeremiah 37:21 ); or, all but no bread left anywhere [MAURER].

10. with thee--Hebrew, "in thine hand," that is, at "thy disposal" ( 1 Samuel 16:2 ). "From hence," that is, from the gate of Benjamin where the king was sitting ( Jeremiah 38:7 ).
thirty men--not merely to draw up Jeremiah, but to guard Ebed-melech against any opposition on the part of the princes ( Jeremiah 38:1-4 ), in executing the king's command. Ebed-melech was rewarded for his faith, love, and courage, exhibited at a time when he might well fear the wrath of the princes, to which even the king had to yield ( Jeremiah 39:16-18 ).

11. cast clouts--"torn clothes" [HENDERSON].
rotten rags--"worn-out garments." God can make the meanest things His instruments of goodness to His people ( 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 ).
under . . . armholes--"under the joints of thine hands," that is, where the fingers join the hand, the clothes being in order that the hands should not be cut by the cords [MAURER].

13. court of . . . prison--Ebed-melech prudently put him there to be out of the way of his enemies.

14. third entry--The Hebrews in determining the position of places faced the east, which they termed "that which is in front"; the south was thus called "that which is on the right hand"; the north, "that which is on the left hand"; the west, "that which is behind." So beginning with the east they might term it the first or principal entry; the south the second entry; the north the "third entry" of the outer or inner court [MAURER]. The third gate of the temple facing the palace; for through it the entrance lay from the palace into the temple ( 1 Kings 10:5 1 Kings 10:12 ). It was westward ( 1 Chronicles 26:16 1 Chronicles 26:18 , 2 Chronicles 9:11 ) [GROTIUS]. But in the future temple it is eastward ( Ezekiel 46:1 Ezekiel 46:2 Ezekiel 46:8 ).

15. wilt thou not hearken unto me--Zedekiah does not answer this last query; the former one he replies to in Jeremiah 38:16 . Rather translate, "Thou wilt not hearken to me." Jeremiah judges so from the past conduct of the king. Compare Jeremiah 38:17 with Jeremiah 38:19 .

16. Lord . . . made us this soul--( Isaiah 57:16 ). Implying, "may my life (soul) be forfeited if I deceive thee" [CALVIN].

17. princes--( Jeremiah 39:3 ). He does not say "to the king himself," for he was at Riblah, in Hamath ( Jeremiah 39:5 , 2 Kings 25:6 ). "If thou go forth" (namely, to surrender; 2 Kings 24:12 , Isaiah 36:16 ), God foreknows future conditional contingencies, and ordains not only the end, but also the means to the end.

19. afraid of the Jews--more than of God ( Proverbs 29:25 , John 9:22 , 12:43 ).
mock me--treat me injuriously ( 1 Samuel 31:4 ).

22. women--The very evil which Zedekiah wished to escape by disobeying the command to go forth shall befall him in its worst form thereby. Not merely the Jewish deserters shall "mock" him ( Jeremiah 38:19 ), but the very "women" of his own palace and harem, to gratify their new lords, will taunt him. A noble king in sooth, to suffer thyself to be so imposed on!
Thy friends--Hebrew, "men of thy peace" (see Jeremiah 20:10 , Psalms 41:9 , Margin). The king's ministers and the false prophets who misled him.
sunk in . . . mire--proverbial for, Thou art involved by "thy friends'" counsels in inextricable difficulties. The phrase perhaps alludes to Jeremiah 38:6 ; a just retribution for the treatment of Jeremiah, who literally "sank in the mire."
they are turned . . . back--Having involved thee in the calamity, they themselves shall provide for their own safety by deserting to the Chaldeans ( Jeremiah 38:19 ).

23. children--( Jeremiah 39:6 , 41:10 ). "wives . . . children . . . thou"; an ascending climax.

24. Let no man know--If thou wilt not tell this to the people, I will engage thy safety.

25. Kings are often such only in title; they are really under the power of their subjects.

26. presented--literally, "made my supplication to fall"; implying supplication with humble prostration
Jonathan's house--( Jeremiah 37:15 ), different from Malchiah's dungeon ( Jeremiah 38:6 ). This statement was true, though not the whole truth; the princes had no right to the information; no sanction is given by Scripture here to Jeremiah's representation of this being the cause of his having come to the king. Fear drove him to it. Compare Genesis 20:2 Genesis 20:12 ; on the other hand, 1 Samuel 16:2 1 Samuel 16:5 .
left off speaking with--Hebrew, "were silent from him," that is, withdrawing from him they left him quiet ( 1 Samuel 7:8 , Margin).

28. he was there when Jerusalem was taken--These words are made the beginning of the thirty-ninth chapter by many; but the accents and sense support English Version.