The taking of Jerusalem. (1-10) Jeremiah used well. (11-14) Promises of safety to Ebed-melech. (15-18)
Verses 1-10 Jerusalem was so strong, that the inhabitants believed the enemy could never enter it. But sin provoked God to withdraw his protection, and then it was as weak as other cities. Zedekiah had his eyes put out; so he was condemned to darkness who had shut his eyes against the clear light of God's word. Those who will not believe God's words, will be convinced by the event. Observe the wonderful changes of Providence, how uncertain are earthly possessions; and see the just dealings of Providence: but whether the Lord makes men poor or rich, nothing will profit them while they cleave to their sins.
Verses 11-14 The servants of God alone are prepared for all events; and they are delivered and comforted, while the wicked suffer. They often meet with more kindness from the profane, than from hypocritical professors of godliness. The Lord will raise them up friends, do them good, and perform all his promises.
Verses 15-18 Here is a message to assure Ebed-melech of a recompence for his great kindness to Jeremiah. Because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord. God recompenses men's services according to their principles. Those who trust God in the way of duty, as this good man did, will find that their hope shall not fail in times of the greatest danger.
This chapter gives an account of the taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, according to the several prophecies of Jeremiah concerning it. The time of taking it, and by whom, after a siege of eighteen months, Jer 39:1-3; several things relating to King Zedekiah; his flight; the taking of him; the bringing him to the king of Babylon, and his sentence on him; the execution of that sentence, slaying his sons and nobles, putting out his eyes, and carrying him in chains to Babylon, Jer 39:4-7; the destruction of the city is described, by burning the houses in it, breaking down its walls, carrying the people captive, all, except a few poor persons left in the land, Jer 39:8-10; the preservation of Jeremiah, according to the king of Babylon's orders by his princes; and the committing him to the care of Gedaliah, the governor of the poor Jews, Jer 39:11-14; and the chapter is concluded with a promise of the protection of Ebedmelech, made by the Lord before the taking of the city, while the prophet was in prison; and which, no doubt, had its accomplishment, Jer 39:15-18.