Jeremiah 34:21
And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you.
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(21) The king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you . . .—The words are important, as showing, as before stated, that the siege had actually been raised, and that the nobles of Judah were flattering themselves that the danger which had led them to a simulated, or, at best, transient repentance, had passed away altogether. They were reckoning once again on the help that they trusted was to come from Egypt (Jeremiah 37:7) They are warned, however, in the next verse that the Babylonian army shall return, as executing the judgment of Jehovah, and that then there will be no escape for them.

34:8-22 A Jew should not be held in servitude above seven years. This law they and their fathers had broken. And when there was some hope that the siege was raised, they forced the servants they had released into their services again. Those who think to cheat God by dissembled repentance and partial reformation, put the greatest cheat upon their own souls. This shows that liberty to sin, is really only liberty to have the sorest judgments. It is just with God to disappoint expectations of mercy, when we disappoint the expectations of duty. And when reformation springs only from terror, it is seldom lasting. Solemn vows thus entered into, profane the ordinances of God; and the most forward to bind themselves by appeals to God, are commonly most ready to break them. Let us look to our hearts, that our repentance may be real, and take care that the law of God regulates our conduct.Which are gone up from you - i. e., which have departed for the present, and have raised the siege. 21. gone up—that is, raised the siege in order to meet Pharaoh-hophra (Jer 37:7-10). The departure of the Chaldeans was a kind of manumission of the Jews; but as their manumission of their bond-servants was recalled, so God revoked His manumission of them from the Chaldeans. Here is nothing in this verse but what was said before, save only in the last clause, where mention is made of the king of Babylon’s army, which was gone up from them, the occasion of which we shall meet with Jeremiah 37:5, because there was an army came out of Egypt to assist the Jews. And Zedekiah king of Judah, and his princes,.... These were either the princes of the blood, the sons of Zedekiah, and his nobles and courtiers, as distinct from the princes in Jeremiah 34:19; these shall not be spared, neither the king, nor his sons, nor those of the privy council: but those

will I give I to the hands of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life; as in Jeremiah 34:20;

and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army; or, "even into the hand" (b) &c. and so this is an explanation of the former, and shows who their enemies were, and those that sought their life. The accomplishment of this may be seen in Jeremiah 52:9;

which are gone up from you; departed from Jerusalem, as the Chaldean army did upon hearing that Pharaoh king of Egypt was marching with his army to raise the siege of Jerusalem; upon which they left it, and went forth to meet him; and this encouraged the wicked Jews to break their covenant, and reduce their servants to bondage again, they had let go free; see Jeremiah 37:5.

(b) "in manum, inquam, exercitus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes I will give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which {i} are gone up from you.

(i) To fight against the Egyptians, as in Jer 37:11.

Verse 21. - And Zedekiah... and his princes. Graf infers from the separate mention of the king and his princes that these had themselves been unfaithful to the covenant. But the threat in this verse seems merely intended to enforce the preceding one by specializing the most prominent sufferers. Parallel passage: Jeremiah 21:7. Which are gone up from you (see Jeremiah 37:5).

In Jeremiah 34:13-16 the Lord sets before the people and their rulers their new offence; in Jeremiah 34:17-22 He announces to them the punishment for this new deed by which the covenant is broken. In order to place the transgression in its proper light, He mentions, first of all, that, when He led Israel out of Egypt, He concluded with them a covenant to the effect that every one of them should set free his Hebrew servant at the end of seven years; He also mentions that their fathers had transgressed this covenant (Jeremiah 34:13, Jeremiah 34:14). The designation of Egypt as a house of bondmen, as in Exodus 13:3, Exodus 13:14; Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 6:12, etc., possesses a special emphasis, and points to what is mentioned in Deuteronomy 15:15 as the motive for obeying the law referred to in the address. Because Israel was a servant in Egypt, and the Lord has redeemed him out of this house of bondmen, therefore must they not treat as slaves their brethren who had fallen into poverty, but set them free after six years of service. The expression "at the end (after the lapse) of seven years" is to be understood in the same way as the expression "after eight days." As this just means "when seven days are completed," so also, according to the law, Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12, the emancipation was to follow in the seventh year, after six full years of service. "Who sold himself to thee" is an expression copied from Deuteronomy 15:12. - From this sin of their fathers they had now for a little turned away, and, in a solemn covenant, resolved to free the bondmen, as the law decreed (Jeremiah 34:15); but they have immediately profaned the name of the Lord again by revoking this decree, viz., by breaking the covenant made before God. לנפשׁם, "according to their pleasure," like eלנפשׁהּ, Deuteronomy 21:14.
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