Jeremiah 37 – “Doom for King Zedekiah; Jeremiah in Prison”

prison cell key jail doorHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Jeremiah informs the new king that he will be captured by the Babylonians. Jeremiah is falsely accused of joining the Babylonians and is placed in prison.

II. Photo

Jeremiah is locked up: “The officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of the secretary Jonathan, for it had been made a prison.” (v. 15)

III. Select Verses

5: Meanwhile, the army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.

9-10: Thus says the LORD: Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,” for they will not go away. Even if you defeated the whole army of Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men in their tents, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.

11-16: Now when the Chaldean army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh’s army, Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his share of property among the people there. When he reached the Benjamin Gate, a sentinel there named Irijah son of Shelemiah son of Hananiah arrested the prophet Jeremiah saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.” And Jeremiah said, “That is a lie; I am not deserting to the Chaldeans.” But Irijah would not listen to him, and arrested Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. The officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of the secretary Jonathan, for it had been made a prison.  Thus Jeremiah was put in the cistern house, in the cells, and remained there many days.

20-21: Now please hear me, my lord king: be good enough to listen to my plea, and do not send me back to the house of the secretary Jonathan to die there.”So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard; and a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

IV. Outline

1. Introduction: Zedekiah son of Josiah succeeded Coniah son of Jehoiakim as king

2. The king and the people ignored Jeremiah

3-4. Zedekiah asks Jeremiah to pray for him as he moves about Jerusalem

5. The Babylonians retreat from Jerusalem as the Egyptians approach

6-10. Prophecy for Jeremiah

    6. Introduction

    7-8. Message for Zedekiah: Egypt will leave and Babylon will capture the city

    9-10. The Babylonians will capture the city no matter what

11-16. Jeremiah is imprisoned on the false charges of joining the Babylonians

17. Jeremiah informs Zedekiah that he will be captured

18-20. Jeremiah pleads for his freedom

21. Jeremiah is sent to the court of the guard (which is presumably better than prison)

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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