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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 37

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary


Jeremiah 27-29. Certain linguistic peculiarities ( e.g. the incorrect spelling, Nebuchadnezzar) suggest that these three chapters may have circulated as a separate pamphlet, e.g. in Babylon. They deal with the rebuke of false hopes concerning a speedy return from exile.

Jeremiah 30-31. The Future of Israel and Judah.— These two chapters of prophecy, dealing with the future restoration of Israel and Judah, appear to be a later editorial insertion in the narrative scheme of Jeremiah 26-45, placed here perhaps because Jeremiah 32 and Jeremiah 33 contain narratives and prophecies dealing with the same subject ( cf. also Jeremiah 29:10 ff.). In Jeremiah 30 and Jeremiah 31, there are numerous points of contact with Deutero-Isaiah, a fact which, with other features, has suggested to many scholars an exilic or post-exilic date for much that these chapters contain. The contrast with the general “ pessimism” of earlier chapters is very noticeable. On the other hand, the internal evidence for Jeremiah 31:2-6, Jeremiah 31:15-22, Jeremiah 31:31-34 entitles us to regard these sections as Jeremianic.

Jeremiah 40-44. The next five chapters continue the biography of Jeremiah, including connected events, after the capture of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 46-51. The Foreign Prophecies.— These form the third principal division of the Book of Jeremiah. As already seen ( Jeremiah 1:5; Jeremiah 1:10, Jeremiah 25:15), Jeremiah’ s prophetic horizon naturally included the surrounding nations; how far the prophecies that follow are his can be decided only by detailed criticism in each case. They refer, though in somewhat different order, to the several nations enumerated in Jeremiah 25:19-26 (which may be regarded as an introduction to them), except that an oracle on Damascus here replaces the reference to Tyre, Sidon, and the Mediterranean. (The LXX, which places this group of prophecies after Jeremiah 25:13, follows a third order.) It is generally admitted that the long prophecy on Babylon (Jeremiah 50 f.) is not by Jeremiah (see prefatory note). As to Jeremiah 46-49, there is considerable difference of opinion, ranging from Duhm’ s rejection of the whole, through Giesebrecht’ s acceptance of Jeremiah 47 (except towards end), with the nucleus of Jeremiah 46:2-12, Jeremiah 49:7-11, up to Cornill’ s acceptance of most of Jeremiah 46-49 (so also Peake). It is in any case natural to suppose that there are genuine prophecies by Jeremiah which underlie these chapters, though they have been worked over, or incorporated with other non-Jeremianic prophecies ( e.g. Jeremiah 48) by later writers. For details, the larger commentaries must be consulted.

Jeremiah 26-45. These chapters, usually ascribed in the main to Baruch, chiefly narrate selected incidents in the life of Jeremiah, often with connected prophecies; they form a second main section of the book, in contrast with 1– 25, which consist chiefly of prophecies, with little narrative.

Verses 1-10

Jeremiah 37, 38. Fortunes of Jeremiah during the Siege (588– 586).

Jeremiah 37:1-10 . Zedekiah, made vassal-king in place of his nephew, Jehoiachin (in 597) sends Jehucal ( Jeremiah 38:1) and Zephaniah ( Jeremiah 21:1, where a similar inquiry earlier in the siege is recorded) to ask for Jeremiah’ s intercession with Yahweh ( cf. Isaiah 37:4), at a time when the siege has been raised through the Egyptian expedition of Pharaoh (Hophra, 589– 564; cf. Jeremiah 44:30). Jeremiah sends back to say that the Babylonians will return, and that the capture of the city is certain, even though the Babylonian army had but a few wounded survivors. (The Egyptians were presumably defeated by the Babylonians on this occasion, cf. Ezekiel 30:21).

Verses 11-21

Jeremiah 37:11-21 . Jeremiah, during the interval in the siege, is leaving the city by a northern gate on private business (perhaps connected with the earlier incident of Jeremiah 32:6 ff.), when he is arrested by the officer on duty under charge of desertion (plausible in view of Jeremiah 21:9; cf. Jeremiah 38:19). His denial is disregarded, and he is beaten and imprisoned by the princes (those friendly to him, cf. Jeremiah 26:16, Jeremiah 36:19, were now probably exiles). After a lengthy imprisonment, the king sends for him secretly ( Jeremiah 38:5 suggests the reason) to ask about the future; Jeremiah prophesies his captivity, declares his own innocence, reminds him of the falsity of the prophets of peace ( cf. Jeremiah 28:2; Jeremiah 28:11), and asks not to be sent back to his dungeon. Accordingly, the king places him in the guard-court ( Jeremiah 32:2), giving him daily bread (the bakers, cf. Hosea 7:4, were grouped in a common quarter, as Eastern trades often are).

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 37". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/jeremiah-37.html. 1919.
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