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And I will spread my net upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will plead with him there for his trespasses that he hath trespassed against me.
And all his fugitives, with all his bands, shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward all winds : and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken it.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It was in the seventh year of his reign that Zedekiah sent ambassadors into Egypt to engage in a confederacy with Pharaoh Hophra. In thus breaking his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar, Zedekiah committed a great crime; for he was guilty of perjury by the breach of his oath, and acted dishonourably in breaking his treaty. He was likewise presumptuous, and foolish to the last degree, in opposing the commands which God had given, that he should submit quietly to Nebuchadnezzar. Ezekiel was among the captives in Babylon, where, we may suppose, he wrote his prediction, and sent it to Jerusalem.
CONTINUATION OF THE REIGN OF ZEDEKIAH KING
OF JUDAH, WITH PART OF THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH.
From Jeremiah, Chap. xxxiv. And it came to pass, in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth day of the month; that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Je. rusalem, and pitched against it: and they built forts against it round about..
And this is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof; saying,
Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go, and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon; and he shall burn it with fire:
And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken and delivered into his hand ; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.
Yet hear the word of the LORD, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith the Lord of thee; Thou shalt not die by the sword.
But thou shalt die in peace; and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah, lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the LORD.
Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, when the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekiah; for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. It is worthy of observation, that Ezekiel, who dwelt in the land of the Chaldeans, and Jeremiah, who was shut up with the rest of those who were besieged in
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, exactly agreed in their predictions concerning the taking of the city, and a variety of circumstances which were to succeed to this dreadful event: in one particular only they appear to differ. Ezekiel foretold that Zedekiah should be brought to the land of the Chaldeans, but should not see it : Jeremiah predicted that he should be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and should speak mouth to mouth with him, and that his eyes should behold his eyes. We shall find in the sequel that both these predictions were literally fulfilled.
CONTINUATION OF THE REIGN OF ZEDEKIAH
KING OF JUDAH.
From Jeremiah, Chap. xxxvii.
• And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now unto the LORD our God for us.
Now Jeremiah came in and went out among the people: for they had not put him into prison. · Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem. • Then came the word of the LORD unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to enquire of me; Behold Pharaoh's army which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land.
And the Chaldeans shall come again and fight against this city, and take it and burn it with fire...
Thus saith the LORD; Deceive not yourselves, say. ing, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us : for they shall not depart.
For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.
And it came to pass, that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh's army,
Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself thence in the midst of the people.
And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a cap. tain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah ; and he took Jeremiah the prophet, saying, Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans. Then said Jeremiah, It is false: I fall not away to the Chaldeans. But he hearkened not to him, go Frijah took Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes, · Wherefore the princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe: for they had made that the prison.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS..., It seems that the king of Babylon raised the siege with a view of intercepting Pharaoh Hophra and his army. It was while the Chaldeans were absent from Jerusalem, that Jeremiah attempted to retire to Ananoth, his native country, to avoid the siege, which he knew would be renewed. This was an improper step for the prophet of the LORD to take ; and in all probability his imprisonment was permitted as a Divine chas. tisement. in The Egyptians, terrified by the appearance of the
Chaldeans, Chaldeans, withdrew their forces, and retired into their own country, treacherously leaving Zedekiah and his people to perish in the war, which it is supposed, they had drawn them into.
CONTINUATION OF THE REIGN OF ZEDEKIAH, AND
PART OF THE PROPHECY OF JEREMIAH.
From Jeremiah, Chap. xxxvii. When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the LORD? and Jeremiah said, There is : for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.
Moreover, Jeremiah said unto king Zedekiah, What have I offended against thee, or against thy servants, or against this people, that ye have put me in prison? Where are now your prophets, which prophesied unto you, saying, The king of Babylon shall not come against you, nor against this land? Therefore hear now, I pray thee, O my lord the king: let my supplication, I pray thee, be accepted before thee; that thou cause me not to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there. ... Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah into the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread out of the baker's street, until all the bread in the city were spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.