We will begin this lesson in Jeremiah 39:1 In the ninth year of
Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king
of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it."

     We see from this, that Jeremiah prophesied for about 40 years.
Jeremiah is one of the few prophets who actually saw his prophecy
fulfilled. Zedekiah reigned for approximately 11 years. This siege on
Jerusalem lasted about 18 months.

     Jeremiah 39:2 "[And] in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the
fourth month, the ninth [day] of the month, the city was broken up."

     A city as fortified as Jerusalem was, could last a good while. In
this case, the battle went on for a year and a half.

     Jeremiah 39:3 "And all the princes of the king of Babylon came
in, and sat in the middle gate, [even] Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo,
Sarsechim, Rab-saris, Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, with all the residue
of the princes of the king of Babylon."

     This is just listing the names of some of the princes from
Babylon, who fought against Jerusalem and prevailed.

     Jeremiah 39:4  "And it came to pass, [that] when Zedekiah the
king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and
went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden,
by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the

     There seemed to be a secret way between the walls to get out of
the city, and that is what Zedekiah, and probably Zedekiah's sons,

     Jeremiah 39:5 "But the Chaldeans' army 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, where he gave judgment upon him."

     The plains of Jericho are a short distance from Jerusalem, so
Zedekiah had not gone far, before he was caught. The Chaldean army
took Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar to be judged. This might have been,
because he was a close relative of Nebuchadnezzar.

     Jeremiah 39:6 "Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah
in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the
nobles of Judah."

     There is no greater hurt than to see your sons slain before your
eyes. This was a terrible grief to Zedekiah, and probably the last act
to see with his own eyes. Remember, they all could have saved their
lives, if they had listened to Jeremiah's prophecy from God, and
heeded it. They did not, so they are paying the ultimate price.

     Jeremiah 39:7 "Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him
with chains, to carry him to Babylon."

     There are worse things than dying, and putting out your eyes
would be one of the things. It seems, Zedekiah would have a long time
to regret not heeding the prophet Jeremiah.

     Jeremiah 39:8  "And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and
the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of

     This is a fulfillment of the very thing Jeremiah had prophesied.
He said the city would be burned, and that is just what happened.

     Jeremiah 39:9 "Then Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carried
away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in
the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of
the people that remained."

     God will always save a remnant of His people. They were captives,
but they were alive.

     Jeremiah 39:10 "But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left of
the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and
gave them vineyards and fields at the same time."

     The poor were left, because they were no threat to
Nebuchadnezzar.  They {in a sense} benefited from the siege. They were
given land that they had never been able to have before, and they were
growing vineyards for themselves, instead of working them for someone
else.  They had nothing the Babylonians wanted, so they left them in
the land.

     Jeremiah 39:11  "Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge
concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard, saying,"
Jeremiah 39:12 "Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm;
but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee."

     God is still taking care of Jeremiah. Possibly, Nebuchadnezzar
had heard of the predictions of Jeremiah. He, also, knew Jeremiah had
tried to get the people to surrender without all this bloodshed. You
remember, how Zedekiah's sons thought Jeremiah to be a traitor to his
country. Perhaps, these Babylonians believe he was on their side. Both
were wrong, Jeremiah was just bringing the message to the people that
God had given him. Now, Nebuchadnezzar tells Nebuzar-adan to give
Jeremiah whatever he wants.

     Jeremiah 39:13 "So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard sent,
and Nebushasban, Rab-saris, and Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, and all the
king of Babylon's princes;"  Jeremiah 39:14 "Even they sent, and took
Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, and committed him unto
Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should carry
him home: so he dwelt among the people."

     The minister must be with his people. That is why Jeremiah had
stayed in Jerusalem. Now, he will, again, be with his people. Jeremiah
knew there would be affliction during the siege, because he had
prophesied it, yet he stayed with his people. Jeremiah is removed
from imprisonment.

     Jeremiah 39:15  "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah,
while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,"

     This is looking back to the Word God had given him, while he was
yet imprisoned.

     Jeremiah 39:16 "Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian,
saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I
will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and
they shall be [accomplished] in that day before thee."

     We remember, that the Ethiopian had saved Jeremiah out of the
cistern. This Word is a promise from God, because God saw the
Ethiopian's good work with Jeremiah. God would not overlook protecting
someone who had protected His prophet. Surely the city of Jerusalem
was to be destroyed, and was, as we read in the earlier part of this

     Jeremiah 39:17 "But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the
LORD: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom
thou [art] afraid."

     The Ethiopian will not suffer in the siege. He would be protected
by the LORD. It appears, this Ethiopian had feared the Babylonians.
That would be a natural thing, since his master, Zedekiah feared them.
God will bring the Ethiopian out of the city unharmed.

     Jeremiah 39:18 "For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt
not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee:
because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the LORD."

     This Ethiopian had won favor in the sight of the LORD, because he
feared God more than man. He had bravely gone to his superior, and
saved Jeremiah's life. God is rewarding him, now, by protecting him
from harm.  Nahum 1:7 "The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of
trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."  To trust in the
Lord, brings protection beyond the world's comprehension. The
following Scripture is the very thing that happened to the Ethiopian.
Psalms 91:7 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at
thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee."

                         Jeremiah 42 Questions

1.  About how many years did Jeremiah prophesy?
2.  How many years did Zedekiah reign?
3.  How long did the siege on Jerusalem last?
4.  When was the city broken up?
5.  What is verse 3 a listing of?
6.  When Zedekiah saw the men of war, what did he do?
7.  Who pursued Zedekiah and captured him?
8.  Where did they catch him?
9.  Who personally judged Zedekiah?
10. What was done to Zedekiah's sons, before his eyes?
11. What punishment was inflicted on Zedekiah?
12. What happened to the king's house?
13. What happened to the remnant of the people?
14. What happened to the very poor?
15. What did Nebuchadnezzar do to Jeremiah?
16. Whose side was Jeremiah on? Explain.
17. Where had Jeremiah been imprisoned?
18. Where did Jeremiah go?
19. Why had Jeremiah stayed in Jerusalem?
20. What is verse 15?
21. What was the name of the Ethiopian who helped Jeremiah?
22. What did God promise would not happen to him in the siege?
23. Why was the Ethiopian afraid of the Babylonians, probably?
24. Who had the Ethiopian feared, more than the king?
25. Quote Nahum chapter 1 verse 7.
26. Quote chapter 91 verse 7.