But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel…
I. THE NEED OF SUCH INTERPOSITION. Baruch and Jeremiah had already been told by the princes to hide (ver. 19); but what was any effort purely of their own likely to avail? Indeed, it is only as we appreciate the uselessness of a purely human effort for this purpose that we shall see the need of a Divine intervention. God does not mean miracles and special providences to do the work of man's prudence. But when it is made evident that man can do little or nothing, then God's action appears manifest and admonitory. It may be too much to say that this action of God was intended as an answer to Jehoiakim's audacity in burning the roll; but it was an answer nevertheless.
II. THE MANNER OF THE INTERPOSITION. This is left untold. Either Jeremiah could not explain the manner of his hiding, or it was purposely left unexplained to heighten the impressiveness of the fact. It may have been through a marvellous combination of human kindness and sympathy, such as showed a Divine directing hand; or there may have been miracle. God is an effectual hider. How much there is hidden away in the very things we see, so that knowledge may be kept from all but the humble and obedient! God could not be the revealer that he is, unless he were also an effectual hider. The great end was gained if people of the right sort in Jerusalem were made to feel that this hiding was in no sort the work of man, and could only be explained by the intervention of a higher power.
III. THE RESULT OF THE INTERPOSTION. Jeremiah was hidden and preserved because his work was not yet done. HIS words had to be put down in writing; and it is interesting to notice that the second copy was an improvement on the first. All that was in the first was also in the second, and many like words were added. God never does wonders for the mere sake of doing wonders. When he hides his servants, or delivers them from prison, it is soon made manifest that he had a purpose in view. We have to remember this in reading such a book as the Acts of the Apostles. Stephen is left to be stoned to death, while Peter has an angel to take him out of prison. The fact was Stephen had the greatest work of his life to do in the hour of his death. "Man is immortal till his work is done." Whatsoever God has clearly given us to do, we must go on with it boldly, yet prudently, sure that he will take care of us who hid Jeremiah in the hour of his danger. - Y.
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.