King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 39

The taking of Jerusalem. (1-10) Jeremiah used well. (11-14) Promises of safety to Ebed-melech. (15-18)

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The taking of Jerusalem

1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it.

2 And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up.

3 And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon.

4 And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.

5 But the Chaldeans’ army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him.

6 Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.

7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.

8 And the Chaldeans burned the king’s house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem.

9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained.

10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.

Jeremiah used well

11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,

12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.

13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rabsaris, and Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon’s princes;

14 Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people.

Promises of safety to Ebed-melech

15 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

16 Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee.

17 But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.

18 For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Fifth. The parallel passages and other editions read ninth. Some pretend that (C.) the city was taken on the 5th of the 4th month, and after being pillaged was burnt on the 7th (4 K. xxiv. 8.) or 10th of the 5th month. C. lii. 12. Sanct. A. Lap. — But the city was taken on the 9th of the 4th month, and Nabuzardan entered on the 7th of the 5th month, and burnt it and the temple on the 10th. Salien, &c. C. — From the beginning of the siege (A. 3414) to the end (A. 3416. Usher), two years and a half elapsed. It was interrupted a short time. Two fasts are still observed by the Jews to deplore these events. Zac. vii. 3. and viii. 19.

Ver. 3. Neregel, Sereser. Perhaps Nabuzardan should be read, (v. 13. H.) or these names are mentioned twice, probably by mistake of transcribers. The former was an idol; (4 K. xvii. 30.) the latter word means “treasurer.” C. — Prot. Nergal-Sharezer seems to be one person, as in Sept. or “treasurer of Nergel.” H. — Samgar-nebu, was “prefect of the temple of Nabo.” — Sarsachim, “prince of the sacæ, or Scythians.” — Rabsares, “master of the eunuchs,” or officers within the palace. Such a one was employed by Sennacherib. 4 K. xviii. 17. — Rebmag, “chief of the magi,” (C.) or “master of the camp.” Jun. — These entered the first wall. C. i. 15. Is. xxii. 7.

Ver. 4. Walls. This gate had not yet been seized, (C.) leading to Jericho. v. 5. H. Ezec. xii. 4. — Sept. Rom. passes over the next 12 verses, which seem to be taken from 4 K. xxv. 4. C. — Grabe supplies v. 4. to 13. inclusively. “And they sent,” &c. which is well connected with v. 3. — The possession of one gate would let all the army enter: whereupon Sedecias fled by a postern gate. W.

Ver. 5. In the land, or environs of Emesa, in Syria. Theod. — Judgment. Reproaching him with perfidy and ingratitude. W. — He slew the nobles, as his accomplices.

Ver. 9. Army. Heb. “slayers,” denoting soldiers, cooks, and sacrificers. Gen. xxxvii. 36. — Remained, having escaped the sword, &c. They had been spared when Joakim and Jechonias were taken.

Ver. 10. Cisterns, and fields. 4 K. xxv. 12. They were thus attached to the Chaldees.

Ver. 11. Had given, after the prisoners had got to Rama. C. xl. 1.

Ver. 13. Nabusezban perhaps stand for Semegar, Nabu, and Sarsachim. The other four officers occur v. 3. C.

Ver. 14. Godolias. The Jews say he had gone over to assist the Chaldees. T.

Ver. 18. Saved. Heb. “a booty.” C. xxi. 9. Thus God rewards what is done to his servants. Mat. xxv. 40. C.