Zedekiah had rebelled against paying tribute to Babylon so in Zedekiah's ninth year of reign on the throne of Judah Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, sent his armies against the capital city of Jerusalem. The siege lasted 1 1/2 years and then the walls were breached. Zedekiah, his family, and his men of war fled by night but they were caught and judgment was executed against them just as Jeremiah had said it would be. The kings sons were killed in front of him and his own eyes were put out. That was the price he paid for insubordination. The city walls were broken down and the palace and houses were consumed with fire. The king and the people were then taken to Babylon. Only the poorest of the people were left in the land. They were given vineyards to maintain as tenant farmers.
Jeremiah was given into the hand of the Babylonian captain of the guard for safe keeping. He took Jeremiah out of the prison where he had been kept and passed him into the care of Gedaliah.
Did God issue any commands?
- While Jeremiah was still shut up in the prison, God told Jeremiah to speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian (see 38:7-13), the man who interceded to the king on behalf of Jeremiah when he was in the mire of the prison, to tell him that he had no reason to fear the conquerors because his life would be spared for his trust in the LORD.
Did God make any promises?
- God promised Ebedmelech the Ethiopian that his life would be spared in the conquest of Jerusalem because of his trust in the LORD.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- Reference is made to an intercessor, Ebedmelech, who had made request for Jeremiah's life to the king when he was mired in the pit. Jesus makes intercessor to the King for all who are mired by sin and want to be released from its hold upon them!
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- God protected those who trusted in Him. Those who love and fear Him have no reason to fear the judgment to come. This is taught in I John 4:17-18. They have no need to fear judgment because perfect loves casts out fear. (We don't love perfectly, but God does!)