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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 34:6-7

6. Then Jeremiah the Prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,

6. Et loquutus est Jeremias Propheta ad Zedechiam, regem Jehudah, omnes sermones istos in Jerusalem.

7. When the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.

7. Et exercitus regis Babylonii pugnabant (hoc est, oppugnabant) Jerusalem et onmes urbes Jehudah quae residuae erant, nempe Lachis et Azekah, quoniam ipsae restabant in urbibus Jehudah urbes munitionis (id est, minutiae)

Here Jeremiah only relates that he had delivered the message committed to him; and here is seen the Prophet's magnanimity, for as it appeared yesterday, he was an unwelcome messenger; and though there was danger, yet Jeremiah performed his office, for he knew that God would not suffer the king to do anything to him unless it were for some benefit. There is then no doubt but that he deposited his life in God's hand, and offered himself, as it were, a sacrifice, when he dared openly to threaten the king, which could not have been done without offending him; and

|the wrath of a king,| as Solomon says, |is the messenger of death.| (Proverbs 16:14)

Here, then, the firmness of the Prophet is deserving of praise; for he dreaded no danger when he saw that necessity was laid on him by God.

He again repeats that Jerusalem was then surrounded by the army of the king of Babylon, as well as the other cities of Judah, which he names, even Lachish and Azekah. He seems, therefore, indirectly to reprove the arrogance of Zedekiah, for he still retained his high spirits, when yet he was reduced to such straits. All the cities of Judah, -- how many were they? Two, says the Prophet. This, then, was no unsuitable way of indirectly exposing to ridicule the vain confidence of the king, who still thought that he could overcome the enemy, though he was master only of three cities, that is, Jerusalem, Lachish, and Azekah. But the Prophet gives a reason why these cities did not immediately fall into the hands of the king of Babylon, because they were fortified. It hence follows, that the other cities were taken without trouble, or that they surrendered of their own accord. Zedekiah the king was then deprived of his power, and yet he had not relinquished the ferocity of his mind, nor was he terrified by the threatenings of the Prophet; and this was a proof of extreme madness. For he hence appears that he was alienated in mind; for. the dreadful hand of God was put forth against him, and yet he rushed headlong to his own ruin as a wild beast destitute of reason. Let us proceed, --

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