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CHAPTER 39 Aug. 18 
Jerusalem Is Taken
It happened when Jerusalem was taken, (in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and besieged it; 2in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city), 3that all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, Nergal Sharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal Sharezer, Rabmag, with all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon. 4It happened that when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, then they fled and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls; and he went out towards the Arabah. 5But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgement on him. 6Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon killed all the nobles of Judah. 7Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon. 8The Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the houses of the people with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people who remained in the city, the deserters also who fell away to him, and the residue of the people who remained. 10But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, who had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
Jeremiah Not to Be Harmed
11Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon commanded Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard concerning Jeremiah saying, 12Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do to him even as he shall tell you. 13So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushazban, Rabsaris, Nergal Sharezer, Rabmag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon; 14they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard, and committed him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he lived among the people. 15Now the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the guard, saying, 16Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring My words on this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished before you in that day. 17But I will deliver you in that day, says Yahweh; and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but your life shall be for a prey to you; because you have put your trust in me, says Yahweh.


39:5 The parable of the good Samaritan features a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and being attacked, to be saved by grace when no human help could assist him (Lk. 10:30). The wounded man represents us all, and yet he is modelled upon Zedekiah. This weak king who loved hearing God’s word and wanted to do the right thing but was simply weak and gave in to the pressure of circumstance and thereby seriously sinned- is representative of each of us.
39:10 These very poor people didn’t show themselves spiritually strong, whereas at least some of the more prosperous who were taken to Babylon did repent and some returned to the land after 70 years. Poverty doesn’t always mean spirituality; for the problem with poverty is that it can become obsessive and distracts people from God.
39:18 Because you have put your trust in me- Ebedmelech is commended for his faith, and yet at the same time God points out his fear (:17). Ideally, faith should preclude fear. Ebedmelech feared, and yet he still believed. Perhaps faith is rarely total in human beings, but God accepts that all the same, in His grace. Note that Ebedmelech is promise deliverance because of his faith- when we would have expected him to be given deliverance because he had delivered God’s prophet Jeremiah. Thus we see that good works are not on their own of significance to God; it is faith in Him which is of the essence.