Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JEREMIAS - Chapter 39

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Jeremias xxxix.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Fifth. The parallel passages and other editions read ninth. Some pretend that (Calmet) the city was taken on the 5th of the 4th month, and after being pillaged was burnt on the 7th (4 Kings xxiv. 8.) or 10th of the 5th month, chap. lii. 12. (Sanctius; Cornelius a Lapide) --- But the city was taken on the 9th of the 4th month, and Nabuzardan entered on the 7th of the 5th month, and burnt it and the temple on the 10th. (Salien, &c.) (Calmet) --- From the beginning of the siege (the year of the world 3414) to the end (the year 3416.; Usher), two years and a half elapsed. It was interrupted a short time. Two fasts are still observed by the Jews to deplore these events, Zacharias vii. 3., and viii. 19.

Ver. 3. Neregel, Sereser. Perhaps Nabuzardan should be read, (ver. 13.; Haydock) or these names are mentioned twice, probably by mistake of transcribers. The former was an idol; (4 Kings xvii. 30.) the latter word means "treasurer." (Calmet) --- (Protestants) Nergal-Sharezer seems to be one person, as in Septuagint, or "treasurer of Nergel." (Haydock) --- Samgar-nebu, was "prefect of the temple of Nabo." --- Sarsachim, "prince of the sac, or Scythians." --- Rabsares, "master of the eunuchs," or officers within the palace. Such a one was employed by Sennacherib, 4 Kings xviii. 17. --- Rebmag, "chief of the magi," (Calmet) or "master of the camp." (Junius) --- These entered the first wall, chap i. 15., and Isaias xxii. 7.

Ver. 4. Walls. This gate had not yet been seized, (Calmet) leading to Jericho, ver. 5. (Haydock) (Ezechiel xii. 4.) --- Roman Septuagint passes over the next 12 verses, which seem to be taken from 4 Kings xxv. 4. (Calmet) --- Grabe supplies ver. 4. to 13., inclusively. "And they sent," &c., which is well connected with ver. 3. --- The possession of one gate would let all the army enter: whereupon Sedecias fled by a postern gate. (Worthington)

Ver. 5. In the land, or environs of Emesa, in Syria. (Theodoret) --- Judgment. Reproaching him with perfidy and ingratitude. (Worthington) --- He slew the nobles, as his accomplices.

Ver. 9. Army. Hebrew, "slayers," denoting soldiers, cooks, and sacrificers, Genesis xxxvii. 36. --- Remained, having escaped the sword, &c. They had been spared when Joakim and Jechonias were taken.

Ver. 10. Cisterns, and fields, 4 Kings xxv. 12. They were thus attached to the Chaldeans.

Ver. 11. Had given, after the prisoners had got to Rama, chap. xl. 1.

Ver. 13. Nabusezban perhaps stand for Semegar, Nabu, and Sarsachim. The other four officers occur [in] ver. 3. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Godolias. The Jews say he had gone over to assist the Chaldeans. (Tirinus)

Ver. 18. Saved. Hebrew, "a booty," chap. xxi. 9. Thus God rewards what is done to his servants, Matthew xxv. 40. (Calmet)


Bible Text & Cross-references:

After two years' siege, Jerusalem is taken. Sedecias is carried before Nabuchodonosor, who kills his sons in his sight, and then puts out his eyes. Jeremias is set at liberty.

1 In the ninth year *of Sedecias, king of Juda, in the tenth month, came Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, and all his army to Jerusalem, and they besieged it.

2 And in the *eleventh year of Sedecias, in the fourth month, the fifth day of the month, the city was opened.

3 And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate: Neregel, Sereser, Semegarnabu, Sarsachim, Rabsares, Neregel, Sereser, Rebmag, and all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon.

4 And when Sedecias, the king of Juda, and all the men of war, saw them, they fled: and they went forth in the night out of the city, by the way of the king's garden, and by the gate that was between the two walls, and they went out to the way of the desert.

5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them; and they took Sedecias in the plain of the desert of Jericho; and when they had taken him, they brought him to Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, to Reblatha, which is in the land of Emath: and he gave judgment upon him.

6 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Sedecias, in Reblatha, before his eyes: and the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Juda.

7 He also put out the eyes of Sedecias, and bound him with fetters, to be carried to Babylon.

8 And the Chaldeans burnt the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire; and they threw down the wall of Jerusalem.

9 And Nabuzardan, the general of the army, carried away captive to Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and the fugitives that had gone over to him, and the rest of the people that remained.

10 But Nabuzardan, the general, left some of the poor people, that had nothing at all in the land of Juda, and he gave them vineyards and cisterns at that time.

11 Now Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, had given charge to Nabuzardan, the general, concerning Jeremias, saying:

12 Take him, and set thy eyes upon him, and do him no harm; but as he hath a mind, so do with him.

13 Therefore Nabuzardan, the general, sent; and Nabusezban, and Rabsares, and Neregel, and Sereser, and Rebmag, and all the nobles of the king of Babylon,

14 Sent, and took Jeremias out of the court of the prison, and committed him to Godolias, the son of Ahicam, the son of Saphan, that he might go home and dwell among the people.

15 But the word of the Lord came to Jeremias, when he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying: Go, and tell Abdemelech, the Ethiopian, saying:

16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring my words upon this city unto evil, and not unto good: and they shall be accomplished in thy sight, in that day.

17 And I will deliver thee in that day, saith the Lord; and thou shalt not be given into the hands of the men whom thou fearest:

18 But delivering, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword; but thy life shall be saved for thee, because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord.



1: Year of the World 3414.; 4 Kings xxv. 1.; Jeremias v. 21.[?]

2: Year of the World 3416, Year before Christ 588.