The only way of deliverance is to be surrendering to the Babylonians. (1-10) The wickedness of the king and his household. (11-14)
Verses 1-10 When the siege had begun, Zedekiah sent to ask of Jeremiah respecting the event. In times of distress and danger, men often seek those to counsel and pray for them, whom, at other times, they despise and oppose; but they only seek deliverance from punishment. When professors continue in disobedience, presuming upon outward privileges, let them be told that the Lord will prosper his open enemies against them. As the king and his princes would not surrender, the people are exhorted to do so. No sinner on earth is left without a Refuge, who really desires one; but the way of life is humbling, it requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties.
Verses 11-14 The wickedness of the king and his family was the worse because of their relation to David. They were urged to act with justice, at once, lest the Lord's anger should be unquenchable. If God be for us, who can be against us? But if he be against us, who can do any thing for us?
This chapter contains Jeremiah's answer to King Zedekiah's message to him; in which he assures him of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, and gives advice both to the people and the king. The names of the persons sent to him are mentioned, Jer 21:1; and the errand they were sent upon, to desire the prophet to pray to the Lord, that the king of Babylon might be obliged to depart from Jerusalem, Jer 21:2; the answer from the Lord by him is, that their opposition to the king of Babylon should be fruitless; that he should be so far from quitting the siege, that he should enter the city, Jer 21:3,4; yea, that the Lord himself would fight against them, and destroy men and beast with the pestilence; and that such who escaped the sword, famine, and pestilence, should fall into the hands of the king of Babylon, Jer 21:5-7; and then some advice is given to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to go out and give up themselves to the Chaldeans; which was the best way to save their lives, since the city would certainly fall into their hands, and be burnt by them, Jer 21:8-10; and as for the royal family, they are advised to do justice and deliver the oppressed; the not doing of which, it is suggested, was the cause of their ruin, Jer 21:11,12; and the chapter is closed with a denunciation of destruction upon the city, notwithstanding the vain trust and confidence of the inhabitants of it, Jer 21:13,14.