Jer 38: "The throne of David under the wicked rule of Zedekiah
is about to be given into the hand of the Babylonians. The message of salvation
is delivered to the nation: 'Safety lies in flight.' Though in the court of the
prison of the king's house, evidently Jeremiah was able to continue his message
of warning (vv 1-3). He is accused of sedition and flung into the pit of water
(vv 4-6). The pit is a symbol of the grave, and thus there is in type the
accusations against the Lord Jesus, his trial, and crucifixion. Jeremiah is
rescued from the pit by a friend, Ebedmelech, a despised Ethiopian, who
demonstrates a more spiritual attitude than revealed by the Jews at that time.
But if Jeremiah sank into the pit literally, Zedekiah the king sank into the pit
figuratively. He had a final interview with Jeremiah (vv 14-16), was given sound
advice to capitulate (vv 17,18), and confesses to weakness (v 19). The final
address of the faithful Jeremiah urges the people to obedience (vv 20-23). But
his voice is to no avail, as he remained until the day that Jerusalem was taken
(vv 24-28). In this the iniquity of his people was laid upon him, and be bore
the sins of the many" (GEM).
Cp Pilate's washing of his hands: Mat 27:24.
JEREMIAH SANK DOWN INTO THE MUD: "While the performance
of our part is necessary, the accomplishment of final results is all of God, who
can prosper or frustrate the devices of men or leave them altogether to their
own ineffectual ways. Nevertheless, the experience of both Moses and Joshua
shows that if God gives men opportunities, He expects them to discern and
enterprisingly use them. There is a time to stand still and see the salvation of
God, but it is not when He proposes to work by us. All the promises of God
presuppose active, diligent, courageous, and caretaking cooperation on the part
of those to whom they are made. Where we are in circumstances which makes this
exercise on our part impossible (as when Jeremiah was in the pit in the court of
the prison, sunk to the armpits in mire) -- prayer and waiting is the not
unavailing alternative" (WP 333).
Jeremiah sank into mire physically, but was delivered, while
Zedekiah was sunk in mire spiritually (cp v 22), with no escape!
Ebed-melech spoke to the king, although he was afraid (Jer
THE THIRD ENTRANCE TO THE TEMPLE: Some inner, secluded
part of temple.
I AM AFRAID OF THE JEWS: Of whom are we
KJV reads: "So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison until
the day that Jerusalem was taken: and he was there when Jerusalem was taken."
But was he? The last part might be read, as NIV: "This is how Jerusalem was
taken", ie an intro to Jer 39. Or even, poss, "In the day when Jerusalem was
captured... this is how..."