Jeremiah 37:16
When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days;
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Jeremiah 37:16. When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon — Hebrew אל בית הבור, into the house of the pit, ditch, or lake; and into the cabins — Or, cells, as החניות signifies. “From comparing this place with chap. Jeremiah 38:6, it seems likely that this dungeon was a deep pit, sunk perpendicularly like a well, in the middle court or quadrangle, around which the great houses were built; and that in the sides of it, near the bottom, were scooped niches, like the cabins of a ship, for the separate lodgment of the unfortunate persons who were let down there. Hence also it may be, that the same word here rendered dungeon is frequently put for the grave; the ancient repositories of the dead being often constructed with niches, in the same manner in which the bodies were placed, separately. Accordingly we read, Isaiah 14:15, Yet thou shalt be brought down to the grave, to the sides of the pit, אל ירכתי בור. How long Jeremiah was forced to remain in this miserable place is not said, but it seems from Jeremiah 37:19. that it was until the Chaldean army was returned to the siege.37:11-21 There are times when it is the wisdom of good men to retire, to enter into their chambers, and to shut the doors, Isa 26:20. Jeremiah was seized as a deserter, and committed to prison. But it is no new thing for the best friends of the church to be belied, as in the interests of her worst enemies. When thus falsely accused, we may deny the charge, and commit our cause to Him who judges righteously. Jeremiah obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful, and would not, to obtain mercy of man, be unfaithful to God or to his prince; he tells the king the whole truth. When Jeremiah delivered God's message, he spake with boldness; but when he made his own request, he spake submissively. A lion in God's cause must be a lamb in his own. And God gave Jeremiah favour in the eyes of the king. The Lord God can make even the cells of a prison become pastures to his people, and will raise up friends to provide for them, so that in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.Dungeon - literally, house of a cistern or pit, and evidently underground. In this cistern-like excavation were several cells or arched vaults, in one of which with little light and less ventilation Jeremiah remained a long time. 16. dungeon … cabins—The prison consisted of a pit (the "dungeon") with vaulted cells round the sides of it. The "cabins," from a root, "to bend one's self." The Hebrew words which we translate

dungeon signify the house of the lake; they certainly signify some pit, or deep hole, or place in the prison, where were some cells or apartments, in which they were wont to keep those whom they judged great malefactors, or against whom they had some special anger; how many days the prophet was forced to abide in this miserable place it is not said, but it should seem by Jeremiah 37:9, that it was until the Chaldean army was returned to the siege. When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon,.... Or, "into the house of the pit" (l); a dungeon, like a pit or ditch, dark, dirty, or dismal:

and into the cabins; or "cells" (m); into a place more inward than the cells, as the Targum; into the innermost and worst part in all the prison, where a man could not well lie, sit, nor stand:

and Jeremiah had remained there many days; in this very uncomfortable condition; very probably till the Chaldean army returned to Jerusalem, as he foretold it should.

(l) "in, vel ad domum laci", Pagninus, Montanus; "in domum foveae", Schmidt. (m) "et in cellulas illius", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "et ad cellas", Schmidt.

When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days;
16. dungeon house] lit. as mg. house of the pit. Cp. Jeremiah 38:6.

cells] The Heb. word is found here only and seems to denote a room with a vaulted roof.

many days] during which time the Chaldaeans resumed the siege and the danger became so pressing that Zedekiah was induced to send for the prophet, and ask him for some intimation of the future.

16–21. See introd. summary to ch.Verse 16. - Into the dungeon, and into the cabins. The former word undoubtedly implies an underground excavation. The latter is of more uncertain signification. It most probably means "vaults;" but it may mean "curved posts" - something analogous to stocks (see on Jeremiah 20:2). Then came the word of the Lord to this effect: Jeremiah 37:7. "Thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah who hath sent you to me to ask at me, Behold, the army of Pharaoh, which marched out to your help, will return to Egypt, their own land. Jeremiah 37:8. And the Chaldeans shall return and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. Jeremiah 37:9. Thus saith Jahveh: Do not deceive yourselves by thinking, The Chaldeans will quite withdraw from us; for they will not withdraw. Jeremiah 37:10. For, even though he had beaten the whole army of the Chaldeans who are fighting with you, and there remained of them only some who had been pierced through and through, yet they would rise up, every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire." In order to cut off every hope, the prophet announces that the Egyptians will bring no help, but withdraw to their own land before the Chaldeans who went out to meet them, without having accomplished their object; but then the Chaldeans will return, continue the siege, take the city and burn it. To assure them of this, he adds: "Ye must not deceive yourselves with the vain hope that the Chaldeans may possibly be defeated and driven back by the Egyptians. The destruction of Jerusalem is so certain that, even supposing you were actually to defeat and repulse the Chaldeans, and only some few grievously wounded ones remained in the tents, these would rise up and burn the city." In הלוך ילכוּ the inf. abs. is to be observed, as strengthening the idea contained in the verb: "to depart wholly or completely;" הלך is here to "depart, withdraw." אנשׁים in contrast with חיל are separate individuals. מדקּר, pierced through by sword or lance, i.e., grievously, mortally wounded.
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