Jeremiah 21

Strong words from the Lord
Submitting to Nebuchadnezzar would be the way of peace.
.1 ¶ The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,
.2  Enquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.
 3  Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:
 4  Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.
 5  And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
  1 - When Zedekiah sent ... Pashur This chapter does not follow chronologically. We see a Pashur in the previous chapter je2001, but his ancestral line is different. Without further evidence, we must conclude that they are not the same person. Here Zedekiah, with invasion eminent, hopes for good news from the prophet.
  2 - If it be so The king and his companions were hoping that the Lord would perform a miracle to destroy their enemies as was the case in the siege by Sennacherib is37. In that case, the king and the prophet humbled themselves and prayed to the Lord.
  4 - Lord God of Israel The Lord made His "no" very clear.
  4 - Weapons The first words of this sentence probably sounded good to Zedekiah and his counselors, but it was their own weapons that would be turned back on them!
  5 - I will fight against you This seems like a strange statement until we realize that God had told the people of Jerusalem to submit that it was His way of punishing them. We must hesitate to say that God is not an active agent in afflictions. Of course He permits the forces of evil or the natural results of our own behavior to try us but He is still in control.
.6  And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence. 
 7 .And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
  7 - I will deliver Zedekiah The king had been listening to counsel from his princes to defy Nebuchadnezzar je3801. The message delivered by Jeremiah was very bold. 
.8 ¶ And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death..
 9  He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.
.10  For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

  8 - Set before you life God's way is the way of life. He had told His people this before de3019.
  9 - He that goeth out ... live Some took the advice je3909, je5215.
  10 - Burn it Cities were not always burned. Jeremiah's prophecies came true je5213, 2ki2508, 2ch3619.
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 11  And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
.12  O house of David, thus saith the LORD; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
 13  Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the LORD; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?
 14  But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.
  12 - Judgment in the morning ... Deliver him Stop ignoring oppression. Go out to the gate (place of judgment) and listen to the complaints of the people. David's neglect of this opened the way for the rebellion of Absalom 2sa1502ff. Solomon cared for the needs of his people 1ki0316ff.
  13 - Inhabitant Technically, "lady inhabitant." The Hebrew feminine is used as it is for daughters of Zion je0431, je0602,23, ps00914.
  13 - Rock of the plain "Jerusalem personified; situated for the most part on hills, with valleys at the bottom of them, as the valley of Hinnom, &c.; and beyond the valleys and mountains again, a position most fortified by nature, whence the inhabitants fancied themselves beyond the reach of enemies; but since God is 'against' them, their position will avail nothing for them." (JFB).
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