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CHAPTER 37 Aug. 16 
A Message for Zedekiah
Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned as king, instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. 2But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, listened to the words of Yahweh, which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah. 3Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah saying, Pray now to Yahweh our God for us. 4Now Jeremiah came in and went out among the people; for they had not put him into prison. 5Pharaoh’s army had come forth out of Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they broke up from Jerusalem. 6Then came the word of Yahweh to the prophet Jeremiah saying, 7Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, You shall tell the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: Behold, Pharaoh’s army which has come forth to help you shall return to Egypt into their own land. 8The Chaldeans shall return and fight against this city; and they shall take it, and burn it with fire. 9Thus says Yahweh, Don’t deceive yourselves by saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us; for they shall not depart. 10For though you had struck the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet would they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire. 11It happened that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to receive his portion there, in the midst of the people. 13When he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he laid hold on Jeremiah the prophet saying, You are falling away to the Chaldeans. 14Then Jeremiah said, It is false; I am not falling away to the Chaldeans. But he didn’t listen to him; so Irijah laid hold on Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes.
Jeremiah Imprisoned 
15The princes were angry with Jeremiah and struck him and imprisoned him in the house of Jonathan the scribe; for they had made that the prison. 16When Jeremiah had come into the dungeon house and into the cells, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; 17then Zedekiah the king sent and fetched him: and the king asked him secretly in his house saying, Is there any word from Yahweh? Jeremiah said, There is. He said also, You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon. 18Moreover Jeremiah said to king Zedekiah, Wherein have I sinned against you, or against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19Where now are your prophets who prophesied to you saying, The king of Babylon shall not come against you, nor against this land? 20Now please hear, my lord the king: please let my supplication be presented before you, that you not cause me to return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, unless I die there. 21Then Zedekiah the king commanded and they committed Jeremiah into the court of the guard; and they gave him daily a loaf of bread out of the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was spent. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.


37:12 Later in Jeremiah, we read of how Jeremiah was given the choice of honourable retirement in Babylon, or to remain with God’s spiritually weak people in the land. He chose to stay with them, and even went down into Egypt with the weakest of them. Perhaps he learnt to do that from his experience at this time. We too are taught by failures in one situation to be stronger the next time we are faced with the choice. It seems he had had enough and just wanted to get away from the aggressive, rejective audience he had in Jerusalem. It is hinted in 32:25 that Jeremiah may have somewhat resented having to buy the field, so that perhaps his family relatives would inherit it at the time of the restored Kingdom in 70 years time, after his death. So he wanted to enjoy it now. And for these things he suffered. We can’t have the hope of eternity and enjoy it now, even if we may have some foretastes of it. 
37:17 Those who know God's word will find encouragement there in their experiences of life- but that encouragement is dependent upon their appreciation of the word, and their ability to see the similarities between their situation and that of others who have gone before. Thus when Zedekiah called Jeremiah out of the prison house to meet him and show him the word of God, he ought to have perceived that he was going through the very experience of Pharaoh with Joseph (see too :20). Jeremiah’s desperate plea not to be sent back to prison to die there surely echoes that of Joseph to his brethren; for Jeremiah was let down like Joseph had been into a pit with no water in, so reminiscent of Joseph (Gen. 37:24). But Zedekiah didn’t want to see all this; he should’ve listened to Jeremiah, as Pharaoh had listened to Joseph and saved himself. It was all potentially set up for him; but he refused to take note. One of the many reasons for daily Bible reading is that we become familiar with the text of Scripture, and can more easily perceive the similarities between our life situations and those of Bible characters who have gone before us.