1. The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuehadrezzar.
1. Sermo qui datus fait Jeremiae a Jehova anno decimo Zedechiae regis Jehudah; hic annus est decimus octavus Nabuchadnezer:
2. For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house.
2. Et tunc exercitus regis Babylonii obsidebat Jerosolymam, et Jeremias propheta erat indusus in atrio custodiae qum est in palatio regis Jehudah;
3. For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.
3. Quia incluserat ipsum Zedechias rex Jehudab, dicendo, Quare tu prophetizas dicendo, sic dicit Jehova, Ecce ego trado urbem hanc in manum regis Babylonii, et capiet eam.
The Prophet here declares, that though he was shut up in prison, the Word of God was not bound, and that he himself was not less loose and free in his confinement than if he rambled through the whole city and visited all the lanes and the streets. He then did not desist from his office as a Prophet, though he was cast into prison. And thus we see that the course of heavenly truth cannot be impeded, how much soever the world may rage against all its ministers, and bind them in order to make them mute: and then also we see here that the constancy of the Prophet was invincible, because he was not cast down with fear, though he was a captive and not beyond the reach of danger; for we find that even then he proceeded in the discharge of his office.
He points out then the circumstances of that time, and not without reason, when he says, that he was then
At the same time we must observe how seasonable was this prophecy for alleviating the minds of the godly, as they were not far from extreme calamity; for it was in the eleventh year of Zedekiah and in the fourth month that the city was taken and demolished, the people driven into exile, and the Temple burnt. Then there were not more than six or seven months, perhaps, to the time of their utter ruin; there is indeed no mention made here of the month in which the Prophet received the vision, but the tenth year is only mentioned. Now, the city was taken at the beginning of the eleventh year, as we have stated. Hence then comes more fully to light the extreme perverseness of the people; for while the enemy surrounded the city, they held Jeremiah captive. He had already foretold many years past what experience then taught them to be true. For forty years he had not ceased to cry out and to strive by warning, exhorting, and threatening them to lead them to repentance. As then nothing new happened to them, and as they found by the evils which came on them that Jeremiah had been a true and faithful servant of God, what was their object in shutting him up in prison? was not this to carry on war with God? for what had they to do with Jeremiah? He had not evidently acted a private part, nor had he only dreamt of what he had so often foretold them. Then they did not fight with a mortal man, but like the giants they dared to raise up their horns against God himself.
For the same reason also, he calls himself a
As to the
We ought at the same timeto bear in mind what I have already said, that though the ungodly sought in all ways wholly to extinguish the word of God, they yet did not attain what they wished; for God broke through all hinderances, and continued the course of his word notwithstanding all their attempts. And this ought to be carefully noticed, for we see at this day all sorts of contrivances made by the wicked to impede the course of celestial truth. Let then this history be remembered, that though Jeremiah was a captive, yet his word was free and his tongue at liberty, as Paul also boasts, that though he was bound with chains, yet God's word was not bound. (2 Timothy 2:9)
Then the reason is added why he was shut up in prison, -- he had dared to prophesy against the city and the king himself. It was no wonder that the king's mind was exasperated when Jeremiah boldly said that he would come into the hands of his enemies, for he had not only spoken of the ruin of the city, but also of the fall of the king; he had said that he would be brought before king Nebuchadnezar, and be led to Babylon, and be there until God visited him. We know how delicate are the ears of kings; it was then no wonder Zedekiah became incensed against Jeremiah; but yet he ought to have been softened and humbled when he found that this oracle had come from God. That he then still kept Jeremiah a prisoner, proves his madness and stupidity, for he had no regard for God. I shall proceed with the subject to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, that since we cease not daily to provoke thy wrath against us, we may be warned by thy word and repent, and so humble ourselves before thee that we may anticipate the rigor of thy judgment, and that being also chastised by thy hand, we may not become hardened, but be submissive to thee and teachable, and so profit under thy discipline, that being at length wholly devoted to thee, we may have no other object than to glorify thy holy name, until we shall become partakers of that glory which thine only-begotten Son has obtained for us. -- Amen.
Lecture One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth
We began yesterday to speak of the presumption, and also of the madness of King Zedekiah in keeping the Prophet in prison, while he was yet besieged by his enemies, as it had been foretold. He saw that Jeremiah had spoken as from the mouth of God, for the accomplishment of the prophecy proved that he had brought forward nothing rashly, but what had been committed to him from above; and yet he did not throw aside his own perverseness. The words themselves shew sufficiently that he was wholly blinded, for he said,
1 The 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses (Jeremiah 32:1-5) ought to be put as parenthetical, as they only relate the circumstances connected with Jeremiah when he received the vision which he proceeds to relate in the 6th verse. Instead of "For then" in the 2d verse, "And then" would be more proper; and "Where" would be better than "For" at the beginning of the 3d verse, "Where Zedekiah had shut him up," etc. It is "In which" in the Sept. -- Ed.
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