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Ibid---shall live.--] Here also, as in Ch. xxi. 9. the Masoretes propose to read instead of '', and have the concurrence of fifteen, perhaps sixteen, MSS. and two Editions, with the margin of the Bible of Felix Pratensis. But how properly soever the may have been prefixed there, the use of it seems to be superseded here by the extraordinary addition of at the end of the verse. It may be observed frequently, that in the repetition of a message, or command, the repeater is not always scrupulous in adhering to the precise form of words, provided there be no essential alteration in the sense and general meaning. This will appear on a further comparison between this verse and Ch.
צרים עליכם and ונפל xxi. 9. in the latter of which we find
which are not here; as on the contrary, ', which is here, is not to be found there.---The meaning of the words, "and his life shall be unto him as spoil," see explained in Note on Ch. xlv. 5.
3.the army of the king of Babylon] Four MSS. omit, in conformity with Ch. xxi. 10. but it is expressed in all the ancient versions.
4. Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death] Seven MSS. and
.האיש before את two ancient Editions omit
Ibid.---he weakeneth---] Three MSS. and two Editions read, which is certainly right, and not 7, which comes from 97, to heal, and suits not with this place. The gutturals & and are often substituted by mistake for each other, and the contrary mistake to this
.11 .Ch. xix לחופא instead of לחופה is made in reading
5.---for the king can carry no point in competition with you] The king evidently speaks this in disgust with the princes for endeavouring to frustrate his clemency. He had once rescued Jeremiah out of their hands, and taken him under his royal protection. But his prerogative, he tells them, was likely to avail but little, when opposed by their obstinate and repeated importunities. The power was in reality theirs, and not his.
6.---the king's son] See note on Ch. xxxvi. 26.
Ibid.---in the dungeon there was no water, but mire] This account of the dungeon accords with what was mentioned in the Note on Ch. xxxvii. 16. For if the dungeon was in the open court, and left open like a well at top, there being no other way of giving it air and light, the falling of rain mixing with the earth below would occasion mud in a place, where the sun's rays could not reach to dry up the mois
7.---the king was sitting in the gate of Benjamin] No doubt he sat there to hear the complaints of the people, and to administer justice; the courts for that purpose being usually held in the gates of the city. See Bishop Lowth's Note on Isa. xxix. 21.
9.---when there is no longer any bread in the city] Our translators render, "for there is no more bread in the city;" but the city does not appear to be reduced as yet to that extremity; for when that came to be the case, the king fled and the city was taken; see Ch. lii. 6, 7. But Ebed-melech supposed with reason, that when the bread failed,
Jeremiah must be starved with hunger in the dungeon; for he would of course be neglected, and have it not in his power to make those shifts for subsistence, which persons at liberty might avail themselves of.
10.---Take along with thee] 772---Literally, "in thine hand." See the like phrase 1 Sam. xvi. 2.
11.---torn rags---] For nanon the Masoretes with five MSS. read and signifies to tear, as np does to grow rotten by wear
14-into the third entrance---] 2n properly signifies an avenue or entrance to any place. It appears, that from the king's house to the temple, Solomon formed a communication, which was called "the king's ascent by which he went up to the house of JEHOVAH," and was of so excellent a structure, that it is reckoned as one of the things that raised the queen of Sheba's astonishment at Solomon's wisdom and magnificence; 1 Kings x. 5. This we find to have extended to one of the western gates of the temple, called Shallecheth, which is said to have been "by the causey of the going up," or "ascent," ," abovementioned, 1 Chron. xxvi. 16. Now this I conclude to have been the first entrance. From the gate Shallecheth there must have been a passage the whole length of the south side of the building of the sanctuary, extending straight forward, till the king faced about to the left, in order to go to his place in the court, where he is said to have stood before the altar; 2 Chron. vi. 12. From the gate Shallee heth therefore to this turning I look upon to have been the second entrance, and the same that is called "the king's entry without," 2 Kings xvi. 18. The third entrance then I conceive to be the continuance of the same approach from the turning abovementioned, till it terminated with the brasen scaffold on which Solomon stood in the midst of the court, right over against the altar, in the presence of the whole congregation of Israel;" 2 Chron. vi. 12, 13. "the entrance," where "the king stood at (or, upon) his pillar," 2 Chron, xxiii. 13. the pillar being most probably the support, on which the scaffold, or pulpit, rested. This entrance I am also inclined to think is "the covert of the sabbath," 2 Kings xvi. 18. being covered over for the king's accommodation, when he appeared in the temple on the sabbath day, at the head of the congregation of Israel. To this, as the most retired place, king Zedekiah may be understood to have brought the prophet, in order to confer with him with the greatest privacy. For the better understanding of what is here laid down, I would refer the reader to the Plan of Solomon's temple in Ancient Univ. Hist. Vol. I. Book i. Ch. 7.
,מבוא This is expressly called
,מוסך השבת that which is called
16.-—who made us-] wwx ns.-The Masoretes omit nx, and so do fifteen MSS. and three Editions.
האלה אשר מבקשים [Ibid. -of these men that seek thy life
DVINT JU-The ancient Bodl. MS. No. 1. instead of
three other MSS, also read ; המבקשים reads אשר מבקשים with a rasure of a letter at the beginning מבקשים and one ,המבקשים
This last, and one of the three, omit ¬ws
17.--- the God of hosts---] Six MSS. omit the word before any of the ancient versions appear to countenance more than according to the usual form, MN2x 7m'.
Ibid.---But thou shalt live---] For
m before, seven, perhaps eight, MSS. and one in the margin, read ; and seven others, perhaps eight, and two Editions, read
nor do ; צבאות
22.--they have set thy foot fast in the mire, and are turned away back] Twenty four MSS. and the margin of Van der Hooght's Bible read a. The Syr. and Vulg. and the Alex. Edit. of the LXX. also express the word in the plural number. But the LXX. according to the Vatican Edition, and Chald. confirm the present reading in the singular. Our Translators have rendered, "Thy feet are sunk in the mire," according to the punctuation of run, which makes it passive in Hophal. But it is rather to be taken in Hiphil, and referred to the king's "familiar friends" as the subject of the verb, who, having brought him into difficulties, went off, and left him in the lurch. This was particularly true of his Egyptian allies. See Ch. xxxvii. 7.
26. I offered humbly my supplication before the king] Literally, "I let fall or prostrated my petition." See note on Ch. xxxvi. 7.
27.-for the conversation was not heard] 27 I consider to be the conversation that had passed between the king and Jeremiah; which no one having heard but they two, the princes had nothing to object against what Jeremiah told them.
28.-and he was [there] when Jerusalem was taken] Three MSS. for read, which according to the rule of the Vau conversive would be right. Some Copies begin the next Chapter with these words. The Syr. omits them entirely. The LXX. express the beginning of Ch. xxxix. but omit the three words that follow in the Hebrew.
16.-I am about to bring-] Twenty one MSS. and three Editions The is lost both here and Ch. xix. 15. in the same letter, which begins the following word.
.מבי instead of מביא read with the Masora
Ibid. and they shall be before thy face in that day] That is, thou shalt see the accomplishment of them.
18.-but thy life shall be unto thee as spoil] See note on Ch, xlv. 5.
THIS Chapter begins with an account of the taking of Jerusalem, and relates the flight of Zedekiah, and the particulars of his punishment, after that he was taken and brought before the king of Babylon; and also the burning of the city, and removal of the people, a few of the meanest only excepted, to Babylon, v. 1-10. Jeremiah is re
leased, and kindly treated, in consequence of a special charge from Nebuchadrezzar, v. 11–14.
2. In the eleventh year---] The LXX. Syr. and Vulg. place a conjunction at the beginning of this verse; but it does not appear in any
of the collated MSS. and Editions.
3.---the gate of the center.] The city of Jerusalem stood upon two hills, Sion to the south, and Acra to the north, with a deep valley between them. "The gate of the center," as the term seems plainly to import, was a gate of communication in the middle of the valley between the two parts of the city, sometimes called the higher and the lower city. The Chaldeans entered the city on the north side by a breach in the walls, and immediately rushing forward, and posting. themselves in this gate, in the very heart or center of the city, they became thereby masters at will of the whole. Zedekiah with his troops, perceiving this, fled out of the opposite gate on the south side.
Ibid.---Nergal-sharetzar Samgar, Nebo-sarsechim Rab-saris, Nergalsharetzar Rab-mag] As Nergal-sharetzar occurs twice, the next word seems to be an addition to the name by way of distinguishing the per
,רבימג and רב סבים,סמגו And I am inclined to think that
were all titles of office, as we find 26-27, which we render, “captain of the guards," or it might be, "commander in chief of the forces," was the title of Nebu-zaradan. What tends to confirm this is, that we
and נבו שזבן placed after רב־מג and רב-סריס .13 .find afterwards ver
- without a conjunction intervening, in the same manner as
precedes ו although the conjunction נבוזראדן follows רב־טבחים But if Rab-saris be a title of office .נרגל שראצר and נבו שזבן both
(the Syr. supposes it to be master of the eunuchs) then Nebo-sarsechim here, and Nebu-shazban ver. 13. mean probably the same person, notwithstanding the difference of the names. Nor is it to be wondered at, that there should be such a variation in the name of a subject, when the name of the king himself is varied in like manner, being sometimes found Nebuchadnezzar, and sometimes Nebuchadrezzar; not to mention a number of other differences that occur in the different copies. Nergal, was an idol worshipped by the Cuthites, 2 Kings xvii. 30. Nebo a Babylonish Deity, Isa. xlvi. 1. And we find it usual to prefix the name of those idols to the names of persons of rank; as Nebuchadnezzar, Nebo-nassar Nebu-zaradan, Neriglissar, or Nergal-assur, who was one of Nebuchadnezzar's successors; Bel-shazzar, another of them; and Daniel the Jew had the name of Bel-teshazzar given him, "after the name of my god," says Nebuchadnezzar speaking of him Dan. iv. 8.---I conceive therefore that we have in this verse the names of three only of Nebuchadnezzar's captains, with their titles of distinction, Nergal-sharetzar Samgar, Nebu-sarsechim Rabsaris, and Nergal-sharetzar Rab-mag; and again ver. 13. the names and titles of three, Nebu-zaradan Rab-tebachim, or "Captain of the guards," Nebu-shazban Rab-saris, and Nergal-sharetzar Rab-mag. What offices Samgar, Rab-saris, and Rab-mag denote, I pretend not to determine.
4.--through the gate between the two walls] We find mention made of two walls, one exterior to the other, 2 Chron. xxxii. 5. Probably between these two walls might have been a private postern, through which the king and his followers might slip out unperceived by the besiegers, who surrounded the city, and undoubtedly kept a strict watch at the principal gates.
Ibid.---and they went forth--] For N seven MSS. and the first printed Edition read ; and in one MS. a letter is erased at the end of ". The Syr. Theodotion, Vulg. and the Arab. MS. Oxon. all represent the verb in the plural.
5.-and he proceeded judicially against him] See Note on Ch. i. 16. Zedekiah had sworn allegiance to the king of Babylon, and was therefore liable to be tried and condemned as a rebel and traitor. See 2 Chron. xxxvi. 13. Ezek. xvii. 16, 18..
8.-and the houses of the people] Literally, " and the house of the people," where "the people" may denote every private citizen or subject taken distributively; so that as the community is made up of king and subject, this expression," the house of the king, and the house of the people, or subject," is equivalent to "all the houses of Jerusalem" without distinction. See Ch. lii. 13.
9. And the residue of the people, &c.] Two sorts of persons are here distinguished, 1. The residue of the people that remained in the city, when it was taken; 2. Those who had deserted during the siege; and these together are included under one general name, even the residue of the people, those that remained." Compare Ch.
12.---but according as---] is omitted by the Masora, and by sixteen MSS. and one Edition. Yet N seems full as proper as singly.
14.---to conduct him home] It appears from Ch. xl. 1. that Jeremiah had been first carried off to R mah with the rest of the captives.
THE five following Chapters contain a particular account of what passed in the land of Judah from the taking of Jerusalem to the retreat of the people into Egypt; and the prophecies of Jeremiah concerning them there.
1.---HAD TAKEN HIM AND LET HIM GO] Most interpreters have understood in innpa of Nebuzaradan's having first taken Jeremiah as a captive unto Ramah. But if the order of the sentence be well observed, as well as the more common use of the verb mp, it will, I think, rather appear, that those words relate to his taking, or having him brought to him, in order to give him his discharge.
3. And JEHOVAH hath come and done---] N2 may as well be the future in Kal as in Hiphil; and God is frequently said to come in pers