But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel…
! — "The Lord hid him." What that precisely means it is impossible to say: Was there a John of Gaunt for this Wycliff, an Elector of Saxony for this Luther? Did Ahikam, who had before interposed on his behalf, or his sons — Gemariah, who lent Jeremiah his room in the Temple for the reading of his roll, and Gedaliah, who became Governor of Judah after Zedekiah's deportation — take the prophet under their care? Or was this hiding something more Divine and blessed still? These Divine hidings are needed by us all. We must obey the voice that cries to us, as it did to Elijah, "Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself." We are too prominent, too self-important, too conscious of ourselves. And God must sometimes hide us in the sick-chamber, the valley of shadow, the cleft of the rock. He calls us to Zarephath, or Carmel, to the privacy of obscurity, or of solitude. It is stated that on one occasion when the dragoons of Claverhouse were scouring the mountains of Scotland in search of the Covenanters, a little party of these godly folk, gathered on the hillside for prayer, must have fallen into their hands had not a cloud suddenly settled, down, effectually concealing them from their pursuers. Thus the Son of God still interposes for His own.
II. HE RE-EDITED HIS PROPHECIES. To this period we may refer the Divine injunction: "Thus speaketh the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book" (Jeremiah 36:2). It may be that throughout, this period Baruch continued to act as his faithful amanuensis and scribe. He, at least, was certainly included in the Divine hidings (Jeremiah 36:26-32). It was at great cost to his earthly prospects. He came of a good family, his brother being Seraiah, who held high office under King Zedekiah, and he cherished the ambition of distinguishing himself amongst his compeers. "He sought great things for himself." But he was reconciled to the lot of suffering and sorrow to which his close identification with Jeremiah led him, by a special revelation assuring him of the speedy overthrow of the State; and that, in the general chaos, he would escape with his life (45). By the aid of this faithful friend, Jeremiah gathered together the prophecies which he had uttered on various occasions, and put them in order, specially elaborating the predictions given in the fourth year of Jehoiakim against the surrounding nations. The word of the Lord came to him concerning the Philistines, and Moab, and the children of Ammon and Edom, Damascus and Kedar. This time of Jeremiah's seclusion was therefore not lost to the world. It was fruitful as Bunyans in Bedford Gaol; Luthers in the Wartburg; Madame Guyon's in the Bastille. Unseen, the prophet busied himself, as the night settled down on his country, in kindling the sure light of prophecy, that should cast its radiant beams over the dark waters of time, until the day should dawn, and the day-star glimmer out in the eastern sky.
(F. B. Meyer,. B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.