26. 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.
26. Et praecepit rex Jerameel filio Hamelek (vel, regis, sed existimant esse nomen proprium, et est probabile) et Seraiae filio Abdeel, et Selemiae filio Abdeel, ut acciperent Baruch seribam et Jeremiam Prophetam; sed abscondit eos Jehova.
Here is described the madness of the king, which was so great, that he vented his rage against the Prophet and his scribe; and he chose no doubt those whom he thought to be most ready to obey him. He would have never taken such ministers as Elnathan or Delaiah or Gemariah, for he knew how much they abhorred such a nefarious deed; but he sent those whom he thought most adapted for such a service as that of killing Jeremiah and Baruch.
It is not improperly conjectured from this passage and a previous one, that Jeremiah was not detained in prison, but that he had been restrained by God from proclaiming his prophecies to the king and from reading thmn to the people. But as the word tsvr, otsur, is taken elsewhere for a captive or one bound, we may indeed draw a different conclusion. However, I will not contend on such a point. I have already explained what I most approve, -- that Jeremiah was prohibited by a secret revelation, as Paul was forbidden to go to Bithynia. (Acts 16:7) It is certainly not probable that he could escape from the king's prison, except it be said, that he was not so confined but that he thought himself free to escape when he saw that it was God's will, or that though Jeremiah would not have departed from prison, he yet privately escaped from the present rage of the king, because he was forced.
However this may have been, we ought to notice the words, that God hid them Jeremiah no doubt accepted the counsel given to him, to take care of his life; he however now acknowledges that he had been preserved by God's kindness, as though he had said, that though there may be many ways by which we may escape from our present dangers, yet our life is in God's hand, so that he hides and conceals us; for we ourselves would run headlong unto death, were we not covered by the shadow of his hand. But the rest to-morrow.