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Jeremiah 37

Jeremiah Warns against Trust in Pharaoh

1 Now 1Zedekiah the son of Josiah whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had 2made king in the land of Judah, reigned as king in place of 3Coniah the son of Jehoiakim.
2 But 4neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the LORD which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet.
3 Yet 5King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and 6Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "7Please pray to the LORD our God on our behalf."
4 Now Jeremiah was still coming in and going out among the people, for they had not yet 8put him in the prison *.
5 Meanwhile, 9Pharaoh's army had set out from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who had been besieging * Jerusalem heard the report about them, they 10lifted the siege from Jerusalem.
6 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
7 "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, '11Thus you are to say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: "Behold, 12Pharaoh's army which has come out for your assistance is going to return to its own land of Egypt.
8 "The Chaldeans will also 13return and fight against this city, and they will capture it and burn it with fire."'
9 "Thus says the LORD, 'Do not 14deceive yourselves, saying, "The Chaldeans will surely go away from us," for they will not go.
10 'For 15even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and 16burn this city with fire.' "

Jeremiah Imprisoned

11 Now it happened when the army of the Chaldeans had lifted the siege from Jerusalem because * of Pharaoh's army,
12 that Jeremiah went out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin in order to 17take possession of some property there * among the people.
13 While he was at the 18Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah the son of Hananiah was there; and he 19arrested Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "You are going over to the Chaldeans!"
14 But Jeremiah said, "20A lie! I am not going over to the Chaldeans "; yet he would not listen to him. So Irijah arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials.
15 Then the officials were 21angry at Jeremiah and beat him, and they 22put him in jail * in the house of Jonathan the scribe, which they had made into the prison *.
16 For Jeremiah had come into the 23dungeon, that is, the vaulted cell; and Jeremiah stayed there many days.
17 Now King Zedekiah sent and took him out; and in his palace the king 24secretly asked him and said, "Is there a 25word from the LORD?" And Jeremiah said, "There is!" Then he said, "You will be 26given into the hand of the king of Babylon!"
18 Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, "27In what way have I sinned against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison *?
19 "28Where then are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, 'The 29king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land '?
20 "But now, please listen, O my lord the king; please let my 30petition come before you and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, that I may not die there."
21 Then King Zedekiah gave commandment, and they committed Jeremiah to the 31court of the guardhouse and gave him a loaf of 32bread daily from the bakers' street, until all the bread in the city was 33gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guardhouse.

Jeremiah 37 Commentary

Chapter 37

The Chaldean army will return. (1-10) Jeremiah is imprisoned. (11-21)

Verses 1-10 Numbers witness the fatal effects of other men's sins, yet heedlessly step into their places, and follow the same destructive course. When in distress, we ought to desire the prayers of ministers and Christian friends. And it is common for those to desire to be prayed for, who will not be advised; yet sinners are often hardened by a pause in judgments. But if God help us not, no creature can. Whatever instruments God has determined to use, they shall do the work, though they seem unlikely.

Verses 11-21 There are times when it is the wisdom of good men to retire, to enter into their chambers, and to shut the doors, ( Isaiah 26:20 ) . Jeremiah was seized as a deserter, and committed to prison. But it is no new thing for the best friends of the church to be belied, as in the interests of her worst enemies. When thus falsely accused, we may deny the charge, and commit our cause to Him who judges righteously. Jeremiah obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful, and would not, to obtain mercy of man, be unfaithful to God or to his prince; he tells the king the whole truth. When Jeremiah delivered God's message, he spake with boldness; but when he made his own request, he spake submissively. A lion in God's cause must be a lamb in his own. And God gave Jeremiah favour in the eyes of the king. The Lord God can make even the cells of a prison become pastures to his people, and will raise up friends to provide for them, so that in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Cross References 33

  • 1. 2 Kings 24:17; 1 Chronicles 3:15; 2 Chronicles 36:10
  • 2. Ezekiel 17:12-21
  • 3. Jeremiah 24:12">2 Kin Jeremiah 24:12; 1 Chronicles 3:16; 2 Chronicles 36:9, 10; Jeremiah 22:24, 28; Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 52:31
  • 4. 2 Kings 24:19, 20; 2 Chronicles 36:12-16; Proverbs 29:12
  • 5. Jeremiah 21:1, 2
  • 6. Jeremiah 29:25; Jeremiah 52:24
  • 7. 1 Kings 13:6; Jeremiah 2:27; Jeremiah 15:11; Jeremiah 21:1, 2; Jeremiah 42:1-4, 20; Acts 8:24
  • 8. Jeremiah 32:2, 3; Jeremiah 37:15
  • 9. 2 Kings 24:7; Jeremiah 37:7; Ezekiel 17:15
  • 10. Jeremiah 37:11
  • 11. 2 Kings 22:18; Jeremiah 21:1, 2; Jeremiah 37:3
  • 12. Isaiah 30:1-3; Isaiah 31:1-3; Jeremiah 2:18, 36; Lamentations 4:17; Ezekiel 17:17
  • 13. Jeremiah 34:22; Jeremiah 38:23; Jeremiah 39:2-8
  • 14. Jeremiah 29:8; Obadiah 3; Matthew 24:4, 5; Ephesians 5:6
  • 15. Leviticus 26:36-38; Isaiah 30:17; Jeremiah 21:4, 5
  • 16. Jeremiah 37:8
  • 17. Jeremiah 32:8
  • 18. Jeremiah 38:7; Zechariah 14:10
  • 19. Jeremiah 18:18; Jeremiah 20:10; Luke 23:2; Acts 6:11; Acts 24:5-9, 13
  • 20. Psalms 27:12; Psalms 52:1, 2; Jeremiah 40:4-6; Matthew 5:11, 12
  • 21. Jeremiah 18:23; Jeremiah 20:1-3; Jeremiah 26:16; Matthew 21:35
  • 22. Genesis 39:20; 2 Chronicles 16:10; 2 Chronicles 18:26; Jeremiah 38:26; Acts 5:18
  • 23. Jeremiah 38:6
  • 24. 1 Kings 14:1-4; Jer 38:5, 14-16, 24-27
  • 25. 1 Kings 22:15, 16; 2 Kings 3:11, 12; Jeremiah 15:11; Jeremiah 21:1, 2; Jeremiah 37:3
  • 26. Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 24:8; Ezekiel 12:12, 13; Ezekiel 17:19, 20
  • 27. 1 Samuel 24:9; 1 Samuel 26:18; Daniel 6:22; John 10:32; Acts 25:8, 11, 25
  • 28. Deuteronomy 32:37, 38; 2 Kings 3:13; Jeremiah 2:28
  • 29. Jeremiah 27:14; Jeremiah 28:1-4, 10-17
  • 30. Jeremiah 36:7; Jeremiah 38:26
  • 31. Jeremiah 32:2; Jeremiah 38:13, 28
  • 32. 1 Kings 17:6; Job 5:20; Psalms 33:18, 19; Isaiah 33:16
  • 33. 2 Kings 25:3; Jeremiah 38:9; Jeremiah 52:6

Footnotes 5

Chapter Summary


This chapter makes mention of the reign of Zedekiah, and what happened in it; of his message to Jeremiah, to pray for the kingdom; of the king of Babylonian's raising the siege of Jerusalem, on hearing the king of Egypt was coming to its relief; of the assurance the prophet gave that the Chaldean army would return again, and destroy the city; of the prophet's attempt to depart the city, his imprisonment, conversation with Zedekiah, and his clemency to him. A short account is given of Zedekiah, and of the disobedience of him and his people to the word of the Lord, Jer 37:1,2; of the message sent by him to the prophet to pray for them, Jer 37:3; the time, when Jeremiah was at liberty, and the siege of Jerusalem was raised, Jer 37:4,5; the prophet's answer to them from the Lord, assuring them the Chaldeans would return and burn the city, Jer 37:6-10; the prophet attempting to go out of the city is stopped, and charged as a deserter to the Chaldeans; is had before the princes, and beat and imprisoned, Jer 37:11-15; but the king sending for him out of prison, and having some private discourse with him, upon the prophet's expostulation and intercession, his confinement was mitigated, and bread allowed him, Jer 37:16-21.

Jeremiah 37 Commentaries

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