Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JEREMIAS - Chapter 37

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Jeremias xxxvii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Sedecias. He was less impious than his two predecessors; but too weak to do good.

Ver. 3. Pray, or consult. He wished to know whether the Chaldeans would return. (Calmet) --- He feared, yet ill-treated the prophet, as Herod did John the Baptist. (Worthington)

Ver. 6. Return, routed, chap. xlvi. 15. His army was small, Ezechiel xvii. 17., and xxx. 21. This king Ephree, (chap. xliv. 30.) or Apries, had succeeded Psammis, after an interregnum of ten years' continuance. (Herodotus ii. 161.) --- He foresaw that his own dominions would be invaded, after Jerusalem, the key, was taken. The other allies of Juda perfidiously sat still, or joined the Chaldeans. (Calmet)

Ver. 8. Away. They departed indeed, but for a short time.

Ver. 9. Tent. So easy it is for God to destroy by few as well as by many! (Haydock)

Ver. 11. Possession, lately purchased, chap. xxxii. (Lyranus) --- Yet some think this had not yet taken place. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "to buy provisions among." Hebrew, "to slip away thence in the midst of the people." (Haydock) --- He wished to escape the fury of his enemies at Jerusalem. (Calmet) --- It is an old device of persecutors to lay false charges on the innocent, as Julian and the Arians did. (Hist. Tripart. vi. 27.) (Worthington)

Ver. 14. Beat him, as a traitor and fugitive. --- Prison, very deep, ver. 19. (Calmet)

Ver. 15. Prison. Literally, "lake or pit," (Haydock) such as was used to keep wine. Thus God tries his chosen friends, according to their strength!

Ver. 18. Prophets. He insults over these impostors, and speaks boldly. The Chaldeans were now returned, chap. xxxviii.

Ver. 19. Be. Hebrew, "fall prostrate," chap. xxxvi. 7.

Ver. 20. Entry, where he had been already, chap. xxxii. 1., and xxxiv. 1, 7. --- Piece. Roll, sufficient for a day's maintenance. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "a piece of bread (Septuagint, a loaf) out of the baker's street." (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Jeremias prophesies that the Chaldeans, who had departed from Jerusalem, would return and burn the city. He is cast into prison. His conference with Sedecias.

1 Now king Sedecias, the *son of Josias, reigned instead of Jechonias, the son of Joakim; whom Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, made king in the land of Juda.

2 *But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, did obey the words of the Lord, that he spoke in the hand of Jeremias, the prophet.

3 And *king Sedecias sent Juchal, the son of Selemias, and Sophonias, the son of Maasias, the priest, to Jeremias, the prophet, saying: Pray to the Lord, our God, for us.

4 Now Jeremias walked freely in the midst of the people; for they had not as yet cast him into prison. And the army of Pharao was come out of Egypt: and the Chaldeans, that besieged Jerusalem, hearing these tidings, departed from Jerusalem.

5 And the word of the Lord came to Jeremias the prophet, saying:

6 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Juda, who sent you to inquire of me: Behold the army of Pharao, which is come forth to help you, shall return into their own land, into Egypt.

7 And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire.

8 Thus saith the Lord: Deceive not your souls, saying: The Chaldeans shall surely depart and go away from us: for they shall not go away.

9 But if you should even beat all the army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there should be left of them some wounded men; they shall rise up, every man from his tent, and burn this city with fire.

10 Now, when the army of the Chaldeans was gone away from Jerusalem, because of Pharao's army,

11 Jeremias went forth out of Jerusalem, to go into the land of Benjamin, and to divide a possession there in the presence of the citizens.

12 And when he was come to the gate of Benjamin, the captain of the gate, who was there in his turn, was one named Jerias, the son of Selemias, the son of Hananias: and he took hold of Jeremias, the prophet, saying: Thou art fleeing to the Chaldeans.

13 And Jeremias answered: It is not so; I am not fleeing to the Chaldeans. But he hearkened not to him: so Jerias took Jeremias, and brought him to the princes.

14 Wherefore the princes were angry with Jeremias: and they beat him, and cast him into the prison that was in the house of Jonathan, the scribe; for he was chief over the prison.

15 So Jeremias went into the house of the prison, and into the dungeon: and Jeremias remained there many days.

16 Then Sedecias, the king, sending, took him: and asked him secretly in his house, and said: Is there, thinkest thou, any word from the Lord? And Jeremias said: There is. And he said: Thou shalt be delivered into the hands of the king of Babylon.

17 And Jeremias said to king Sedecias: In what have I offended against thee, or thy servants, or thy people, that thou hast cast me into prison?

18 Where are your prophets that prophesied to you, and said: The king of Babylon shall not come against you, and against this land?

19 Now therefore hear, I beseech thee, my lord the king; let my petition be accepted in thy sight; and send me not back into the house of Jonathan, the scribe, lest I die there.

20 Then king Sedecias commanded that Jeremias should be committed into the entry of the prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread, beside broth, till all the bread in the city was spent: and Jeremias remained in the entry of the prison.



1: 4 Kings xxiv. 17.; Jeremias lii. 1.

2: 2 Paralipomenon xxxvi. 15.

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