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Jeremiah;- The last royal interview (ch38)

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posted on Mar, 17 2023 @ 06:06 PM
At the climax of the final siege of Jerusalem, king Zedekiah was getting desperate enough to think that one final talk with Jeremiah might help. Jeremiah was currently being held in the court of the guard, do the king summoned him and met him privately at the third entrance” of the house of the Lord. (ch38 v14). There must have been a private chamber there.

My guess is that the first entrance was the public entrance, the second entrance was the priestly entrance, and the third entrance was the royal entrance . Presumably this was the same entrance used on historic occasions like the incursion of Athaliah (2 Kings ch11) and the incursion of Uzziah (2 Chronicles ch26) and indeed whenever the king came to worship in the temple.

He wants to ask a question, and requests that Jeremiah hide nothing from him in his answer. Jeremiah objects, firstly, that the king will probably have him executed if Jeremiah gives an honest answer according to the word of the Lord (judging by the previous reactions of the regime), and secondly that the king won’t even listen to the advice that he receives. The king reassures him on the first point, but not on the second (vv15-16).

Jeremiah then repeats the advice he has given many times before. If the king surrenders to the forces of the king of Babylon, then his life will be spared and the city will not be burned. If he does not surrender, then he will not escape from the hands of the Chaldeans, and the city will be burned.

Zedekiah says that he is afraid of being allowed to fall into the hands of those Jews who had already deserted to the Babylonians. Jeremiah says that this will not happen. In fact my own assessment of the situation is that he had just as much reason to fear the anti-Babylonian aristocracy remaining in the city, who held the real reins of power. If he made one move towards getting the gates opened or negotiating with the Babylonians, he would probably have been assassinated (as may have happened to his elder brother Jehoiakim). If he had expressed that fear to Jeremiah, then he would have had a point. A Babylonian king who was still outside the gates could not have saved him from that fate. He was truly as helpless in the hands of political forces as was Lady Jane Grey.

Jeremiah’s final throw is to try to move Zedekiah by sharing a vision in which his wives and sons are taken out to share his fate. The wives are quoting a mocking verse about a man being stuck in the mud while his so-called “friends” leave him behind. For “friends”, here, we may place the aristocracy of Jerusalem, who have got him into this position.

Instead of responding, Zedekiah closes the conversation. He makes a special request that Jeremiah should not share the real topic of the discussion with anybody. That’s how much the king fears his own “servants” in the government. So Jeremiah agrees to an official story in which he was pleading not to be sent back to the house of Jonathan the secretary (where he was first imprisoned in ch37).

So the court of the guard is the place where Jeremiah waits out the rest of the siege.

posted on Mar, 18 2023 @ 05:55 AM
Some of us seek God's guidance every day.

Drives me crazy that kings with direct access to God via the prophets refused to accept His instructions.

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