Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JEREMIAS - Chapter 34

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Jeremias xxxiv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Came, in the 11th year of Sedecias, before the Chaldeans returned to their siege, chap. xxxvii. 4.

Ver. 3. Go to, yet shall not see Babylon, (Ezechiel xii. 13.) his eyes being put out, chap. xxxii. 4. (Calmet) See 4 Kings xxv. 7. (Worthington) --- Paine objects this as a false prophecy, though it was verified so terribly. Daniel, &c., would not neglect to bury the king. (Watson)

Ver. 5. Peace. That is, by a natural death. (Challoner) --- Burn thee, like Asa; (2 Paralipomenon xvi. 14.; Calmet) or aromatical spices were only burnt over their dead bodies, which were also embalmed. (Sanctius; Vatable, &c.) --- Tostat says that Sedecias was intoxicated, for sport, (Habacuc ii. 15.) and died of grief in prison, chap. lii. 11. (Calmet) --- The king of Babylon would probably not refuse him a decent burial. (Watson, Let. vi.)

Ver. 7. Lachis, near Hebron. Detachments were sent to different places.

Ver. 9. Brethren. The sabbatical year happened in the 9th of Sedecias, when the Chaldeans approaching, caused him to shew some signs of religion. But when they departed to meet the Egyptians, the people repented of what they had done well. (Calmet) --- Such a relapse offends God more than the former sins, as our Saviour shews by a parable, Matthew xviii. (Worthington)

Ver. 14. End, or commencement. (Glass.; Gram. iii. 6.) (Exodus xxi. 2., Deuteronomy xv. 12., and Luke ii. 21.) (Calmet)

Ver. 16. And set. Hebrew, "to their own soul," to do as they pleased. (Haydock)

Ver. 17. For you. I acknowledge you no longer as my servant. I will let loose the sword, &c., against you.

Ver. 18. Parts. This was done to signify that if they transgressed, they consented to be slain, Genesis xv. 9, 17. It seems Sedecias and his subjects had solemnly ratified the covenant made at Sinai, being impressed with fear of the enemy.

Ver. 19. Eunuchs, chief officers. One was at the head of the army, 4 Kings xxv. 19.

Ver. 21. From you, to attack Egypt. Afterwards the various detachments came and took Jerusalem. (Calmet)

Ver. 22. Command. He did not approve of their cruelty, but used them as scourges. (Worthington)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The prophet foretells that Sedecias shall fall into the hands of Nabuchodnonosor: God's sentence upon the princes and people that had broken his covenant.

1 The *word that came to Jeremias from the Lord, (when Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth, that were under the power of his hand, and all the people fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof) saying:

2 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: Go, and speak to Sedecias, king of Juda, and say to him: Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will deliver this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

3 And thou shalt not escape out of his hand; but thou shalt surely be taken, and thou shalt be delivered into his hand: and thy eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, and his mouth shall speak with thy mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.

4 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Sedecias, king of Juda: Thus saith the Lord to thee: Thou shalt not die by the sword.

5 But thou shalt die in peace, and according to the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings that were before thee, so shall they burn thee: and they shall mourn for thee, saying: Alas, Lord: for I have spoken the word, saith the Lord.

6 And Jeremias, the prophet, spoke all these words to Sedecias, the king of Juda, in Jerusalem.

7 And the army of the king of Babylon fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Juda that were left, against Lachis, and against Azecha: for these remained of the cities of Juda, fenced cities.

8 The word that came to Jeremias from the Lord, after that king Sedecias had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem, making a proclamation:

9 That every man should let his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, being a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, go free: and that they should not lord it over them; to wit, over the Jews, their brethren.

10 And all the princes, and all the people, who entered into the covenant, heard that every man should let his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant go free, and should no more have dominion over them: and they obeyed, and let them go free.

11 But afterwards they turned: and brought back again their servants and their handmaids, whom they had let go free, and brought them into subjection as men-servants and maid-servants.

12 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremias from the Lord, saying:

13 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying:

14 *At the end of seven years, let ye go every man, his brother, being a Hebrew, who hath been sold to thee, so he shall serve thee six years: and thou shalt let him go free from thee: and your fathers did not hearken to me, nor did they incline their ear.

15 And you turned to-day, and did that which was right in my eyes, in proclaiming liberty every one to his brother: and you made a covenant in my sight, in the house upon which my name is invocated.

16 And you are fallen back, and have defiled my name: and you have brought back again every man his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, whom you had let go free, and set at liberty: and you have brought them into subjection to be your servants and handmaids.

17 Therefore thus saith the Lord: You have not hearkened to me, in proclaiming liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his friend: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine: and I will cause you to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth.

18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, and have not performed the words of the covenant, which they agreed to in my presence, when they cut the calf in two *and passed between the parts thereof:

19 The princes of Juda, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs and the priests, and all the people of the land, that passed between the parts of the calf:

20 And I will give them into the hands of their enemies, and into the hands of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the earth.

21 And Sedecias, the king of Juda, and his princes, I will give into the hands of their enemies, and into the hands of them that seek their lives, and into the hands of the armies of the king of Babylon, which are gone from you.

22 Behold I will command, saith the Lord, and I will bring them again to this city, and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Juda a desolation, without an inhabitant.



1: Year of the World 3414, Year before Christ 590.

14: Exodus xxi. 2.; Deuteronomy xv. 12.

18: Genesis xv. 20.