14. Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet unto him into the third entry that is in the house of the Lord: and the king said unto Jeremiah, I will ask thee a thing; hide nothing from me.
14. Et misit rex Zedechias et tulit (hoc est, accersivit) Jeremiam Prophetam ad se ad ingressum tertium, qui erat in domo Jehovae (hoc est, in ipso Templo,) et dixit rex ad Jeremiam, Ego interrogo to verbum, ne celes a me verbum (hoc est, Ego rem unam abs to quaero, ne quicquam celes.)
Here is added another narrative, -- that King Zedekiah again sent for Jeremiah to come to him in the Temple, that is, in the court of the Temple; for it was not lawful for the king to enter into the Sanctuary, and the court is often called the Temple. But there were, as it is well known, many entrances. The largest gate was towards the east, but there were gates on the other sides. The court also had several parts, separated from each other. Then Zedekiah, that he might speak privately to Jeremiah, came to the third entrance of the court, and there he asked the Prophet faithfully to explain to him what he had received from God.
There is no doubt but that Zedekiah in course of time entertained a higher regard for Jeremiah as God's faithful servant. Yet he was not, as we have said, really attentive to the teaching of the Prophet. Hence the mind of the king was in a dubious state, like those hypocrites, who, having some seed of God's fear remaining in them, fluctuate and continually change, and have nothing solid and fixed. They dare not, indeed, to despise either God or his servants; nay, they acknowledge that they are under God's authority, and that his word is not evanescent; and yet they make evasions as much as they can, and seek to change, as it were, the nature of God. Such was the character of Zedekiah. For he was not one of those who grossly and openly despise God, as we see at this day, the world being full of Epicureans, who regard religion as a fable. Such, then, was not Zedekiah, but he retained some fear of God; nay, he even shewed regard for the Prophet; and yet he was unwilling to submit to God, and to follow the counsels of the Prophet. He was, therefore, suspended, as it were, between two opinions. But it is probable that he entertained some hope, because he had saved the life of Jeremiah. he might, then, have thought that God was pacified, or that he would remit in some degree his severity, as hypocrites always flatter themselves. For if they do the least thing, they think that they merit some favor, I know not what, at God's hand. Hence Zedekiah, when he had relieved the holy Prophet, and fed him during the greatest scarcity, thought that this service was acceptable to God; and it was in part acceptable; but he was mistaken in thinking this to be a kind of expiation. Hence then it was that he sent for the Prophet; he expected some favorable answer, even that God's wrath was pacified, or at least mitigated. But we must defer the rest till to-morrow.
Grant, omnipotent God, that since the life of thy servants ought to be deemed precious by us, each of us, according to his ability may strive to do his part in this respect, and, in the meantime, so cultivate mutual love as to assist one another in time of necessity, and that we may also be so solicitous respecting thy servants, as to consecrate all our efforts, all our labors, and all our services to thee, and strive thus to please thee, so that all our doings may be directed to this end, until, having at length finished the course of our present warfare, we shall come to that rest in thy celestial kingdom, which has been procured for us by the blood of thine only-begotten Son. -- Amen.
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